Press Club defends rhino newsmaker choice

2013-01-21 09:38

Johannesburg - The National Press Club has defended its decision to choose the South African rhino as last year's newsmaker of the year, it was reported on Monday.

"That decision was considered by a committee which consists of members of the media and people who monitor the media as well," press club chairperson Antoinette Slabbert told The Star newspaper.

She said the decision had been discussed in depth and that Marikana had been considered, but that the committee had to consider who had made the most news throughout the entire year.

"It's a bit unconventional to decide on an animal as a newsmaker," said Slabbert, but she pointed out that Time magazine once chosen a computer as its person of the year.

"It's not that far-fetched and there is no need for the upheaval," said Slabbert.

The National Press Club was criticised at the weekend for its decision, by among others its former chairperson Yusuf Abramjee.

Several people commented on the social networking site, Twitter.

"The announcement came as a surprise and shock to me. I agree rhinos were in the news in 2012, but newsmaker? Surely not," Abramjee said.

"There were a series of individuals, organisations and events that made the news. They include Marikana, Nkandla, Mdluli, Outa, Cosatu and e-tolls."

Political analyst Eusebius McKaiser wrote on Twitter: "The NPC didn't really declare The Rhino Newsmaker of 2012 did it? I'd sooner declare @chestermissing Newsmaker of 2012!"

Spin doctor Chris Vick commented: "Aon provides insurance cover for #rhino. Aon sponsors #NPC Newsmaker of the Year. Rhino declared newsmaker of the year. Join the dots."

Aon South Africa is an insurance broker which sponsors the National Press Club's newsmaker of the year.

Another twitter user said: "I actually think these #rhino campaign people bought that newsmaker of the year title. No other explanation."

The National Press club made the announcement in Pretoria on Friday night.

  • Sheilan.Clarke - 2013-01-21 09:46

    Disgusting. Our rhino poaching is a serious problem. These folks who disagree with the choice are clinically insane. Then, when there are absolutely no rhinos left, they wanna blame poor media coverage etc.

      The_Don_@_Nkandla - 2013-01-21 10:11

      And you are clinically qualified to diagnose me as insane? I challenge you to prove your credentials. I agree that the rhino poaching is a huge and embarrassing problem. However, get some perspective: If the economy suffers from mismanagement, weird politics and endemic corruption then soon there won't be any resources left to look after the rhinos not even to mention the many millions of unemployed youths with no hope for their collective future. It's not just a question of "...who had made the most news throughout the entire year" as the Press Club says because then surely Zuma & Nkandla are tops. It's all to do with the IMPACT and then Zuma, the ANC, Nkandla, corruption & their combined negative long term effect for the country, all its citizens including wild life, nature conservation, clean air and environmental protection are put into jeopardy. Go back to Economics 001 - basic - & you will understand - all of these require resources and responsible & prudent management all of which are lacking at the moment. So, go get some perspective.

      larry.hannigan.31 - 2013-01-21 13:02

      To say someone is critically insane is a bit harsh, don't you think? If we look back at 2012 the Rhino poaching stories DID make head-lines more than Nkandla, Marikana, Mdluli, E-toll & Outa (all of these are serious stories BTW). So YES the Rhino poaching WAS the number one news maker of 2012. being a News Maker has nothing to do with government spending or corruption, it's just saying Rhino's made the news more than any other occurence last year. There is absolutley no need for people to get personal about this.

      michael.taylorw - 2013-01-21 13:39

      The press club does not really represent the press, that is why there is a bit of a disagreement:

  • The_Don_@_Nkandla - 2013-01-21 09:48

    Defending the indefensible! Same as Minister of Education defending a 30% pass rate for matrics - the lowest common denominator and mediocrity have become the acceptable standard. Pitiful response from Press Club.

  • stan.luthuli - 2013-01-21 09:54

    we must be really bored in SA to even argue about something like this

  • Benjamin - 2013-01-21 09:57

    Don't necessarily agree with the choice but at least it's bringing light to a serious problem.

  • - 2013-01-21 10:13

    At this rate, I think 'rapists' will be NPC Newsmaker of the year 2013. Lame lame lame!

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2013-01-21 12:45

    I wish as much attention would be given to rhino as is given to the critics! Because the Rhino deserve more respect than them

  • thulani.msimang - 2013-01-21 12:48

    The Press club which claims to be national should consider that well paid mine workers have become an endagered in this day in age. They call themselves national but they are not present in the regions Durban where I am based, I am embarassed to call my self a news reporter after this decesion.

      derek.phoenix.73 - 2013-01-21 13:52

      I hope you have a good editor to pick up your "decesion" of spelling mistakes

      jacques.jacobs.180 - 2013-01-21 13:55

      A news reporter that cannot spell "endangered" "myself" or "decision"? You must work for news24.

  • The_Don_@_Nkandla - 2013-01-21 13:07

    Wow! What with all the thumbs downs, it's clear that the sandaled brigade with their myopic views are out in full strength today. In a rather macabre sense the P.C is making those detestable rhino poachers and killers the real newsmakers. Rhinos - precious as they are - are incapable of making news. They do not speak in a manner we comprehend. But the poachers do because they pull the trigger, operate the swa and do the awfu maiming. So, they are the real newsmakers behind this story. Byt why can't the rhinos be porperly protected? The murders of farmers? Why can't the young people get a decent education? Etc? Etc? It's purely because of a lack of financial and capable intellectual resources. If these are mismanaged, all the subsystems suffer in the long term such as the rhino and wildlife. The Press Club is misguided. Period

  • nick.terry.3152 - 2013-01-21 13:19

    Rhino has my vote.

  • michael.taylorw - 2013-01-21 13:42

  • heinrich.barnard.9 - 2013-01-21 13:56

    the don is at nkandla ... "nuff said"

  • Kevin - 2013-01-21 14:57

    Stuff the "STRIKE OUS', stuff the "TEACH OUS" - SAVE THE RHINOS. and well done to the Press Club for its bravery and truth in supporting the cause

  • Kevin - 2013-01-21 15:04

    Take the money from Nkandla Resort and spend it on preserving one of the most amazing prehistoric animals still left on our Planet. Well done to the Press Club for not highlighting the blatant theft, fraud and skullduggery of our presidant's compound

  • alec.liebenberg - 2013-01-22 12:02

    Lets do whatever we can to make people right across the world aware whats happening to our Rhino, lets not be the generation, who by doing nothing, caused the extinction of such a majestic creature! Rhinos are the most important news maker! STOP POACH!!!

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