Open letters here on News24 seem to be the order of the day – not that they serve any useful purpose – other than getting the monkey off the writer’s back. Or the chip off his/her shoulder. Or the gripe out in the public domain. I’ve decided to add mine:
For a long time now, I’ve been irritated by the constant use of the Shutterstock and file photos, which accompany News24 articles. Most of them are totally irrelevant, inappropriate, and unprofessional. For someone like me, who has very little imagination, it becomes extremely confusing.
If I see the headline to a news report which reads: “Murder committed in woods outside Knysna,” and there was an accompanying Shutterstock photo of a tree, my immediate thoughts would be that a tree was found murdered in the woods.
Let me give you a few examples from News24:
Elderly couple found dead at home 2014-05-17
The couple’s son found them dead in their house and called the police.
Photo: Picture of a police constable shoulder flash (badge).
My conclusion: They were killed by a police badge.
Residents must protect themselves – Afriforum 2014-05-17
Residents of Boschkop and Cullinan, east of Pretoria, should safeguard themselves because police were absent in their areas.
Photo: Police crime scene barrier tape. (The yellow plastic tape, Sakkie, with: “Crime Scene, No Entry,” written all over it.)
My conclusion: Yellow plastic tape keeps criminals out.
Serial rapist apologises to victims 2014-05-17
A serial rapist apologised to his victims and the community in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.
Photo: Picture of a judge’s gavel. (Yes, Sakkie, it’s the little wooden mallet that judges bang down when they shout: “Order! Order! The court will come to order, or I’ll bring the house down!”)
My conclusion: The judge gave the rapist his gavel as a present for his nice apology.
Faulty cables disrupt Tshwane power 2014-05-16
Power was disrupted in Nellmapius, Pretoria, on Friday because of faulty cables, the City of Tshwane said.
Photo: Picture of a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
My conclusion: CFL’s cause faulty cables.
Woman attacked with garden fork 2014-05-18
Western Cape police were on Sunday searching for a man who allegedly attacked and injured an elderly woman with a garden fork in George.
Photo: A picture of the feet of someone digging with a garden fork.
My conclusion: Digging with a garden fork makes people behave irrationally.
And these terrible stories:
Man tortures 2-year-old 2014-05-19
Witness account by the mother reveals that the suspect slapped and kicked the boy in the face, burned his feet with boiling water, put a cement brick on the boy’s chest and stamped his feet on it and also forced the boy to eat his own faeces.
Photo: An old aluminium kettle standing on some wooden blocks.
Western Cape girl, 9, raped, set alight 2014-05-20
The suspect was found with blood on his pants and his T-shirt was burnt. Police said he also had burn wounds and scratch marks on his back. The little girl was found on a pile of rocks in the bush next to the R300 highway by a boy.
Photo: Yellow plastic tape with: “Police Service,” written on it.
And it goes on, and on, and on. But I’m sure you get my draft. (If you stand downwind, that is.)
Now, finally, after all the introductions and foreplay, I can get to the point – the reason for this “open letter.”
One of the first horror stories I read this morning on News24, was:
*‘Witch’ set alight – 6 held 2014-05-18
Two women and four men have been arrested in connection with the killing of a woman in Giyani, who they believed had bewitched her sister-in-law, Limpopo police said on Sunday.
Photo: The clenched hands of a white man, behind the bars of a jail.
From the News24 article, it is quite clear that all of those involved in the horrendous deed are black. But the photo shows a white man behind bars. And it pisses me off. (Yes, Sakkie, I said “pisses.”) As in: “makes me the moer in.”
I don’t for one moment believe that, if the shoe was on the other foot, the photo would have been of a black man behind the bars.
We can all make believe that we have become colour-blind, but for Pete sake, let’s at least get the facts straight.
Now, if you feel that this was a racist rant, you’re welcome to your opinion.
(Yes, Sakkie, I feel much better now.)