From the news desk

Prominent media outlet shuts down operations for one day to highlight global journalism crisis

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By Lee-Yandra Paulsen

The Daily Maverick, a prominent publication, made a bold move by shutting down its operations for a day. This temporary closure was intended to draw attention to the global crisis in journalism. Neesa Allie, associate editor for Business Maverick, spoke about this decision with VOC Drive Time on Monday.

“This was something that was a calculated bold move, it was something that we put a lot of thought and consideration into before we decided to make the move. We felt very strongly that there needed to be a shock factor to make the public sector wake up to make the public at large wake up to the reality of the importance of journalism and the fact that journalism funding is drying up at a dramatic rate,” explained Allie.

One of the critical roles of independent media is to uncover state-capture stories and expose organizations masquerading as news outlets. Allie stressed that the independent media is crucial in asking difficult questions and revealing the hidden truths beneath the surface.

Allie also addressed the threats and abuse that journalists face when breaking significant stories. She recognized the concerns that arise when one’s family and personal life become public scrutiny. In such circumstances, journalists need to possess thick skin and demonstrate bravery by standing up for their beliefs and maintaining their integrity on various media platforms.

“The frightening thing is that people as recently as 40 years ago in South Africa had journalists behind bars and the media freedom curtailed. I think it is a scary reality that we are heading towards a similar scenario again. Not in the legal sense where it is in terms of laws, but the media is being shut down to a certain extent,” explained Allie.

Due to the shortage of journalists and the current state of the media in South Africa, journalists are under immense pressure to cover a higher volume of stories compared to 10-20 years ago. What used to be the responsibility of three to four journalists now falls on the shoulders of one individual. Balancing accuracy, meeting expectations, and representing all sides of a story has become an incredible challenge, leading to the possibility of certain stories falling through the cracks.

“Generically, I think under the possibility and the likelihood of some stories falling through the gaps and things not brought under the spotlight is higher. This is because there are fewer feet on the ground, fewer people in the business,” said Allie.

Allie stated although there are a lot of people who applaud the media and are grateful for what the media does. She adds the reality is that the media needs funding to be able to continue to do what it does and to do it better.

VOC News

Photo: Pixabay

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