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Besoek die aktiewe LitNet-platform by www.litnet.co.za

This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za


 
Menings | Opinion > SeminaarKamer | Seminar Room > English > Mini-seminars

Mini-seminars


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We object
Trevor Sacks - 2010-08-26
I’m among the many writers who have already voiced their concern over the so-called Protection of Information Bill. This seems to be a Protection from Information Bill, and our history shows that’s the last thing we need. Trevor Sacks Also, please feel free to comment on LitNet’s letter page, SêNet, by sending a letter to webvoet@litnet.co.za. << Terug na Mediavryheid-indeksblad | Back to index << << Terug na miniseminare | Back to mini-seminars...

We object: Protecting South Africa’s democracy requires protecting freedom of speech for all
Jennifer Stastny - 2010-08-26
The following quote says it best: “The one simple arrow that shoots straight to the heart of the ANC’s argument is this: the test of a good law is whether the lawmaker would be comfortable with the law in another party’s hands. Would the ANC be happy if the proposed media laws were used by the DA, or even the old NP?” (Marc Wilson, quoted in The Daily Maverick) Protecting South Africa’s democracy requires protecting freedom of speech for all, regardless of colour, tribe,...

We object
Moira Richards - 2010-08-26


We object
Brent Meersman - 2010-08-26


Big Book Chain Chat #7: Terminating a text and identity writing
Tony Harding - 2010-08-26
There is something I like about this quotation from Jerome S Bruner in Making Stories. The construction of selfhood, it seems, cannot proceed without a capacity to narrate. Once we are equipped with that capacity, we can produce a selfhood that joins us with others, that permits us to hark back selectively to our past while shaping ourselves for the possibilities of an imagined future. We gain the self-told narratives that make and remake ourselves from the culture in which we live. However much...

We object
Sinval Kahn - 2010-08-25
Dear Sir/Madam I think our government is beginning to show signs of the apartheid monster of the past. If this Act is not stopped then the monster will become worse than what we experienced during apartheid. You have my support in this regard. Kind regards Sinval Kahn Also, please feel free to comment on LitNet’s letter page, SêNet, by sending a letter to webvoet@litnet.co.za. << Terug na Mediavryheid-indeksblad | Back to index << << Terug na miniseminare...

We object
Prof Izak JJ Spangenberg - 2010-08-25


We object: Let’s do the maths
Richard Jurgens - 2010-08-25
No one, no one in the world, apart from a few people with interests to hide, wants a new censorship in South Africa. Talking of “a few people”, let’s do the maths. The only people who support the attempt at a new censorship are those who need it. That’s, say, 5 000 people out of about 50 million. Which represents about 0,01 per cent of the population. Richard Jurgens Also, please feel free to comment on LitNet’s letter page, SêNet, by sending a...

We object
Jean Green - 2010-08-25
As a published author I wish to protest sternly against the proposed Protection of Information Act. Such an Act will have a far-reaching effect on freedom of speech in South Africa. Freedom of speech includes the freedom every author has to express him- or herself in books, unfettered by the aims of the proposed new legislation – a freedom implicitly enshrined in our Constitution. I wish to express our strongest opposition to the proposed new legislation. Jean Green Also, please...

We object
Richard Jones - 2010-08-25


We object: So repression begins again with the misuse of language
Maja Kriel - 2010-08-25
I wish to state my strongest objection to the proposed Protection of Information Bill. As in the previous regime the most reprehensible legislation was framed in the most reformist language. Thus the “Protection” of Information bill is actually the prevention of information bill. So repression begins again with the misuse of language. Therefore I object to the perpetration of violence against language and the proposed abuse of the freedom of the media. Maja Kriel Also, please...

We object
Anette Horn, Peter Horn - 2010-08-25


We object
Barbara Holtmann - 2010-08-25
It will be such an unspeakably sad day if we lose the freedom of the media in South Africa – surely nothing that the media has said or will ever say will speak more loudly than government’s fear of what might have been said. Dr Barbara Holtmann Also, please feel free to comment on LitNet’s letter page, SêNet, by sending a letter to webvoet@litnet.co.za. << Terug na Mediavryheid-indeksblad | Back to index << << Terug na miniseminare | Back...

We object: Soze sithule! We will never be quiet!
Tessa Dowling - 2010-08-25
Soze sithule! We will never be quiet! The proposed Protection of Information Act might just start a revolution in African language writing. In the past, when missionaries stopped African language speakers writing freely about important political and social issues, the writers turned to their own languages to criticise the politics of the day. No one in authority could understand what they were saying. African languages can be hugely metaphorical and obscure, tangential and abstract – the deepest...

We object
Jen Lewis - 2010-08-25


We object
Jack Dunwoody - 2010-08-25
I wish to express my strongest opposition to the proposed new legislation. This is an attack by an intolerant and dogmatic government on the freedom of expression guaranteed in the Constitution of South Africa. Yours sincerely Jack Dunwoody Also, please feel free to comment on LitNet’s letter page, SêNet, by sending a letter to webvoet@litnet.co.za. << Terug na Mediavryheid-indeksblad | Back to index << << Terug na miniseminare | Back to mini-seminars...

We object
Francois Verster - 2010-08-24


We object
Rhoda Kadalie - 2010-08-24
I wish to add my voice of opposition to government’s proposed Protection of Information Bill and the Media Tribunal. We need to register our protest strongly against the ANC government for harking back to the dark days of apartheid the more corrupt it becomes. These draconian measures signal government’s intention to erode our rights to freedom of the media, speech, belief and expression, and we must resist this regardless. Rhoda Kadalie Also, please feel free to comment...

Ons protesteer
Faan Pistor - 2010-08-24
Van beroep is ek ’n taalversorger, het self al drie boeke uitgegee, en skryf af en toe ’n artikel vir Media24 se Afrikaanse koerante. Verder is ek stigter-voorsitter van die Internasionale Historiese Genootskap Robbeneiland, wat binnekort sy eie webwerf gaan oprig, wat uiteraard ook nadelig deur die beoogde mediatribunaal geraak kan word. Ek gee graag my onvoorwaardelike steun aan die veldtog teen die Suid-Afrikaanse regering se beoogde wetgewing om die media te muilband en te wil beheer....

We object: This is not about “us” versus “them”. This is about all of us, full stop
Marita van der Vyver - 2010-08-24
Each and every South African writer and journalist – present, past and future – should stand up and be counted in this new struggle against the control of the written word. Each and every South African who has ever read a good book, appreciated an informative newspaper article or enjoyed an interesting magazine feature should protest loudly and clearly – also on behalf of the many South Africans who still don’t have access to the written word because of illiteracy and poverty....

Creeping censorship becomes galloping censorship
Malene Breytenbach - 2010-08-24
Source: State Censorship of the Media 1974-1994, DPhil in Journalism, Stellenbosch University, MM Breytenbach The context This article deals mainly with the period set out in die above dissertation (1974-1994), but censorship was introduced and increasingly applied long before then. In 1963 the Publications Control Board was established in the John Vorster era, mainly to curb reporting on prison conditions and prisoners (the Rivonia Trial had taken place and the people found guilty sent to prison). The...

We object: I am more confused than ever
Louw Venter - 2010-08-24
As a young white boy growing up in the ‘burbs of Krugersdorp during the 1980s I would often lie awake at night indulging horrifying fantasies of murder and sabotage. Whether consciously or peripherally, I was always aware of the coming horror of "The Day" – when "The Blacks" would emerge from the townships to slaughter us in our beds and rape our mothers and sisters. We were all of us trapped in a sophisticated web of misinformation and withheld truths. I knew nothing of the people who...

We object
Akin Omotoso - 2010-08-24


We object
Anthony Akerman - 2010-08-24
As a writer who had a play banned as a publication by the previous government because it was deemed offensive and prejudicial to the safety of the state, I find this deeply disturbing. What is the ANC? An illiberal, Stalinist organisation, as reactionary, corrupt and repressive as the Nats? Also, please feel free to comment on LitNet’s letter page, SêNet, by sending a letter to webvoet@litnet.co.za. << Terug na Mediavryheid-indeksblad | Back to index << <<...

We object: Raising the bigger freedom issues
Jane Duncan - 2010-08-24
This is a good initiative. Of course, writers’ troubles did not start with the Protection of Information Bill and the Media Appeals Tribunal. The Film and Publications Amendment Act requires all non-media publishers, including writers, artists, academics, etc, to submit material that may fall into the listed categories of controversial speech (sexual content, propaganda for war, etc) for pre-publication classification and possible censorship if they wish to distribute. While the Act provides...

We object: Seven one-liners against the Protection of Information Bill and Media Appeals Tribunal
Finuala Dowling - 2010-08-24
Just because your fly is undone, don’t zip the press. If you’re feeling unstable, maybe it’s because you’re on shaky ground. Arrest my frontal lobe: it is in possession of classified information. To get a good press, don’t lie, cheat or steal. Amend the Act: that should read 27 years in prison for telling the truth, not 25. Every journalist imprisoned under the Protection of Information Act shall be known as prisoner number 46664. Press Save. Kind...

We object
Peter R Dunseith - 2010-08-24


We object
John Bennett - 2010-08-24
I strongly object to the proposed Protection of Information Act. It is despicable that the ANC-led government is stooping as low as the old apartheid government used to do to suppress freedom of speech. The proposed legislation flies in the face of the Constitution of South Africa. This is an abuse of our freedom that the ANC fought for. How dare they! Also, please feel free to comment on LitNet’s letter page, SêNet, by sending a letter to webvoet@litnet.co.za. << Terug...

We object
David Kramer - 2010-08-24
I’ve just supported No Media Tribunal by adding a sticker to my profile picture. Get the sticker and show your support now at http://twb.ly/bgAo8I. The South African government is trying to establish a Media Tribunal to censor the press. I believe this goes against the spirit of what it means to be South African. It also tramples on the sacrifices made by many during apartheid so that we may enjoy freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is absolute in my mind, because what you do not know can...

We object: The media as the fourth power in democracy
Hélène Passtoors - 2010-08-22
I am probably not the right person to have my say in this. However, I am a (now retired) journalist and still writing, so let me try to give my impressions from the outside for what they are worth. I don't know if a media tribunal is a solution. If it really restricts citizens' freedom of expression, then it definitely isn't. However, I'd like to submit two points that have been on my mind for some time. First of all, I have been following the main South African written media, some on a daily basis....

We object: Words are power
Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob - 2010-08-21
Words are power, which is why words have been jealously appropriated since time immemorial by rulers and the church for purposes of total control. Barbaric and criminal regimes fear and hate the truth and the manifestation thereof by the power, immediacy and permanence of the honestly and fearlessly written word. The written word is our conscience and our memory both as individuals and the collective society. If we allow it to be diluted, censored and destroyed without protest we are accessories...

We object: I join other South African writers in feeling alarmed
Damon Galgut - 2010-08-20


We object: To make this stand, stand.
Ingrid Wolfaardt - 2010-08-20
Has this country not fought? Paid in blood and life itself for the following? To live with a critical conscience, to live with honesty and truth and to have the freedom to do so and the expression thereof in all its parts? This is not only our challenge but the challenge across borders, across centuries, the calling to ordinary men and women for a life that encompasses all people. That is real community, that is real nation-building, where allowing another to be allows me to be too, allows...

We object: Is it possible to prevent what seems to be coming from coming?
Mike Rands - 2010-08-20
I used to produce content for the SABC and constantly dealt with people known as “commissioning editors”. I soon learnt that they were in fact nothing more than government agents. Quality of programming was not on the agenda. What mattered was the government. What mattered was the ANC. I learnt to bite my tongue, but I became increasingly agitated. I had conversations with people in which I admitted that I was becoming part of something rotten. Then we made an insert about artists...

We object: The internet and globalisation of the media have actually made the debate redundant
Jaco Botha - 2010-08-20
How sad it is that an organisation with a proud liberation history such as the ANC is now trying their utmost to put measures in place to muzzle the free press. What do they want to hide? What “untruths” published about them are they unable to defend in public or in a court of law? Whom are they protecting? Yes, having worked for those arseholes at the SABC I know how the media can abuse their power for political purposes. I also know that very few media vendors stand truly neutral...

We object: Brave journalists shouldn't be intimidated
Hazel Woodward - 2010-08-20


We object: Regulating the Fourth Estate
Eugene Ashton - 2010-08-19
Oscar Wilde in his attack on journalists of his age famously wrote, “In old days men had the rack. Now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly.” Paranoia has set in. Between the lines of articles, politicians and career plunderers read of a conspiracy. The press, it appears, has jointly decided to attack corruption, theft, ineptitude and a whole host of other goings-on. Government argues that it is not in the public interest to publish stories on the irregularities...

We object: The rights dear to the heart of any writer
Imraan Coovadia - 2010-08-19
You can't think of the recent history of our country without thinking of the names of its writers, from Nadine Gordimer to Athol Fugard to JM Coetzee to Zakes Mda. But you also think of the names of its newspapers, from the Star and the Mail and Guardian to the Sunday Times and Independent and many others. That's because history is a kind of literature written in our eleven languages. And newspapers – and I mean free newspapers which can print whatever they see fit – are this country's...

We object: I believe we have reason for concern
Mike Nicol - 2010-08-19
There is every likelihood that the Information Bill, and the proposed changes to the Criminal Procedure Act, will end up in the Constitutional Court. There is every likelihood that their draconian clauses will be ruled unconstitutional. But while there are still legal means to fight these threats to freedom of speech, what do these measures say about the mind of the government? Does the retreat into secrecy not speak of paranoia? When the Orwellian-sounding media tribunal is added to the mix, does...

We object: South Africans should fight
Max du Preez - 2010-08-19
The Protection of Information Bill and the proposed Media Appeals Tribunal are a double-pronged assault on our democracy. Separately and combined they will without any doubt severely limit the information needed by the citizens of South Africa to make informed decisions about national, regional and local affairs. The Bill, if it becomes an Act of Parliament, will lead to over-classification of all kinds of information and documents (in terms of an extremely broad definition of "national security”)...

Big Book Chain Chat #6: Writing what you know
Michiel Heyns - 2010-08-18
Henry James wrote, in The Art of Fiction, (1884): I remember an English novelist, a woman of genius, telling me that she was much commended for the impression she had managed to give in one of her tales of the nature and way of life of the French Protestant youth. She had been asked where she learned so much about this recondite being, she had been congratulated on her peculiar opportunities. These opportunities consisted in her having once, in Paris, as she ascended a staircase, passed an open...

Big Book Chain Chat #5: The year of his birth
Kobus Moolman - 2010-08-10
He was born under the sign of the Ram. He was born in the Chinese year of the Dragon. (But unlike most other dragons, he could not fly.) It was the year after JFK. It was the year before Ingrid Jonker’s Rook en Oker. It was the year Martin Luther King became the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. It was the year of the Rivonia Treason Trial. The year that saw Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and other senior leaders of the ANC receive life sentences in a...

Big Book Chain Chat #4: Writing my children’s country
Tiah Marie Beautement - 2010-08-06
Read the preceding contribution in the Big Book Chain Chat, Mike Rands’s “Crossing borders”.“Write what you know.” I tried that once. I took my undergraduate thesis, written at UCT, then listened to the advice. “Do you think the majority of your readers will be women?” “Yes.” “Then your main character must be female. Do you think the majority of your audience will be Americans, like you?” “Yes.” “Then even...

Big Book Chain Chat #3: Crossing borders
Mike Rands - 2010-07-30
My generation of South Africans was raised on the mantra that there was no difference between peoples and races. We were told that we should become blind to the colour of a person’s skin, that our blood was all green. We were told that our differences were minor and our similarities great. This philosophy undoubtedly had an enormous influence on me. So much so that when I started living in Japan as an adult I was quite horrified by the national attitude towards ethnicity and identity. For...

Big Book Chain Chat #2: The first time I died
Richard de Nooy - 2010-07-30
There was pandemonium at the bus stop. Shouting and crying children and parents crowded around a heavy truck that had stopped on the zebra crossing. Someone had been run over. There were lots of people in the way, so I couldn’t get a good look. Judging by the expressions of those who had, this was a good thing. So I turned and walked home. I must have been about six or seven. At school the next day I heard that the kid had tried to hang on to the side of the truck as it slowly trundled uphill...

Big Book Chain Chat #1: Introduction
Janet van Eeden - 2010-07-30
The ground was hard, the air was still, my road was lonely … I was a mile from Thornfield, in a lane noted for wild roses in summer, for nuts and blackberries in autumn, and even now possessing a few coral treasures in hips and haws, but whose best winter delight lay in utter solitude and leafless repose. If a breath of air stirred, it made no sound here; for there was not a holly, not an evergreen to rustle, and the stripped hawthorn and hazel bushes were as still as the white, worn stones...

South Africa on the Shelf: Boekehuis and local publications
Corina van der Spoel - 2010-07-15
When Boekehuis was established in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, just over a decade ago, it was hoped by its parent company, Nasionale Pers, that this bookshop would give Afrikaans books a more secure foothold as well as a new shop front in Johannesburg. Over the years it had become harder and harder to find Afrikaans books in the city. There were hardly any independent bookshops left and many Exclusive Books stores had relegated Afrikaans books to a shelf called Africana, or did not stock any Afrikaans...

South Africa on the Shelf: We need courageous booksellers
Marga Collings - 2010-07-07
Before 2004, South African publishers could only guess about market share: our own in comparison with that of our local and international competitors, but also the size of the market for the different genres. Together with booksellers we made wild estimates: according to conventional wisdom the book-buying public consisted of approximately 500 000 loyal bookshop customers, and three imported books were sold for every local one. All that changed in 2004, when Nielsen BookScan entered...

South Africa on the Shelf: Read South African, South Africa read – 10 tips
Tiah Marie Beautement - 2010-06-24
South Africa needs to read more of its own books, no matter what colour the reader or writer. The more South Africa's patriotism is invested in their words, the better the chance to beat the illiteracy problem. When you own it, you work for it. But the issue has become a Catch-22. The majority of the bookshops hide the local books. A dark dusty shelf, hidden in the back, where one can find Cry, The Beloved Country and Long Walk to Freedom and maybe, just maybe, a small handful of South African...

South Africa on the Shelf: South African books hold their own
Thérèse Herbert - 2010-06-24
Last year’s Nielsen’s Bookscan figures indicated that more than a third of all books sold in South Africa are published here. This speaks volumes for our home-grown market. There is clearly a demand for South African authors and South African content across all genres. Are these books getting enough exposure in our local bookshops? The top-selling titles and writers certainly are, but in these tough economic times, many booksellers are unwilling to risk backing lesser known authors....


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