Naspers shareholders launch organisation for investigative journalism

2019-02-28 20:00
Truth First

Truth First

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Investigative journalism is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, but is often hampered by a lack of funding, former Naspers chairperson Ton Vosloo said at the announcement of a non-profit organisation for investigative journalism within Media24.

During a conversation at the Centre for Student Communities at Stellenbosch University, Vosloo said the organisation, called Truth First, had been established to help the country's best investigative journalists continue their work.

He and his wife Anet have already made a R3.5m donation to establish it.

They have appealed to Naspers shareholders and concerned South Africans to contribute to Truth First to help responsibly fund investigative journalism.

"Aside from the financial adaptions the news media has had to make worldwide in the era of the internet and social media, we have a unique challenge in South Africa," Vosloo said. "We have informed, equipped and ingenious journalists who have been responsible for bringing controversial revelations - among other things, state capture - to light. Their ability to do in-depth 'digging' is however often hampered by a lack of resources.

"Journalism of this kind can take months and happens outside the daily news agenda. It is expensive, but similarly important that we keep up with this work to sustain our threatened democracy.

"The aims of Truth First are, among other things, to encourage quality investigative journalism in the public interest and to promote an honest, free media that exposes transgressions. It must also contribute to a sense of empowerment by enabling South Africans to hold public institutions accountable.

"In basically my entire adult life as a journalist, I learnt through experience that the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa is a free, independent media," Vosloo said.

"During recent years, it has been proven over and over, with brave and responsible investigative journalism that led to the large-scale exposure of corruption and maladministration across a wide spectrum. It is a gift of grace that I'm in the position to contribute to the establishment of Truth First. May it strengthen our journalism to successfully continue its life sustaining work in new, difficult circumstances."

Journalists working for Media24 will be able to pitch investigative projects that require additional resources to a committee made up of the directors of Truth First. All applications will have to adhere to funding rules.

In addition to the Vosloo couple, the other directors are: Joe Thloloe, former press ombudsman; Charlene Beukes, general manager: News and Lifestyle at 24.com; Adriaan Basson, editor-in-chief of News24; Mondli Makhanya, editor-in-chief of City Press; Henriëtte Loubser, editor-in-chief of Netwerk24; and Oloff Sieberhagen, a lawyer at Marais Müller Hendricks Attorneys.

Thloloe applauded Naspers shareholders for the initiative to give back to journalism and said it was a very innovative way to raise funds for investigative journalism.

"Investigative journalism is really threatened due to publications losing money and cutting costs." 

According to Thloloe, it is often one of the first forms of journalism that is cut, because it takes time and money and removes journalists from the stream of daily news.

"Anyone that appreciates investigative work will want to support this project. The country is where it currently is thanks to those that exposed apartheid and the endemic corruption that we are seeing now. They are the ones that are keeping us informed."

"The biggest gift of a free media is that the public can have peace of mind that they will know the truth," Anet Vosloo said.

"That is the confidence that we want to engender with Truth First: to know that Media24 goes out of its way to make sure readers are part of an honest and sincere inner circle who hears the full story."

Anyone who wants more information about Truth First or wants to make a donation can send an email to oloffs@mmha.co.za.

* News24 is a publication of Media24, an affiliate of Naspers.

TF


Read more on:    media24  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.