The Spear (16N) saga still rages

2012-06-02 13:21

As a journalist and former editor, I have to say City Press editor-in-chief Ferial Haffajee did right thing by removing the The Spear (16N) from the newspaper’s website.

When all is said and done, our job as journalists is to inform, educate and entertain.

Following intense debate, accusations and counter-accusations, demonstrations and what not over the publication of this image by the little-known artist Brett Murray, it was the right time for the editor remove the controversial image, thereby removing herself and the publication from the story.

Once something has been published there is no longer any need for the publication or its editor to continue to be part of the story.

And that is why City Press did not have to justify why it removed the offending image from its website.

This tendency by journalists to want to be part of the story is wrong in so many ways, chief of which is that it opens up the profession to so much unwanted attacks and criticism.

Those who supported the publication of this painting miscalculated the ramifications, and in this I include City Press.

Anyone familiar with the history of the ANC will know that although the party might at times appear disunited, there’s always a line that must never be crossed when attacking it or its leaders.

When that line is crossed the party closes its ranks and each and every one of its members and supporters turn their attention against the offender.

» The writer is a media and social commentator based in Pretoria

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