Gaps in Marikana reporting - IAJ

2013-08-12 14:22
(Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

(Lucky Nxumalo, City Press)

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Johannesburg - There are gaps in the coverage of the Marikana shootings by some South African media, the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) said on Monday.

"The gaps showed that a need for good contacts on the ground is very important. These are crucial for journalists," said IAJ director Michael Schmidt.

He was speaking at an IAJ seminar titled "Reporting South Africa's Policing Crisis: Marikana One Year Later".

Schmidt said he had never seen a report by a journalist who had gone underground to experience the working conditions that mineworkers go through every day.

"A few years ago I had the privilege of going underground at one of the platinum mines in the North West," he said.

"Temperatures reach 55 degrees Celsius, in a crammed environment..."

He said journalists should have paid attention to what was happening in the platinum belt prior to the killings.

He commended The Star reporter Poloko Tau who focused on the "man in the green blanket" who was seen all the time at the hill during the strike-related unrest.

Friday marks a year since the killings took place at Lonmin Platinum's Marikana mine in North West.

In August last year, 44 people died during strike-related unrest at the mine's operations in Rustenburg.

Thirty four people - almost all striking mineworkers - were shot dead in a clash with police on 16 August. Ten people, including two police officers, were killed in the preceding week.
Read more on:    lonmin  |  marikana inquiry  |  marikana anniversary  |  media

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