So, For the Record
Review: Lindiwe Mlandu
Veteran journalist Anton Harber has written an intriguing book looking at the state of the fourth estate in South Africa.
In So, For the Record, Harber looks at the media’s complicity in state capture. He analyses how some media houses allowed themselves to be used by government officials to further their agenda.
He also takes us back to the infamous Gupta Leaks. He tells the story of how they were uncovered and how billionaire Magda Wierzycka was brought in as the sponsor for the whistleblowers.
However, this relationship soured when Wierzycka became impatient with the meticulous groundwork by Amabhungane and the Daily Maverick before publishing the story.
Unbeknown to her partners, Wierzycka had kept a copy of the leaks which she started distributing to other people because she was too eager to blow the state capture scandal wide open.
Harber is very critical of Wierzycka’s conduct which could have endangered the whistleblowers.
In this book, Harber names those who enabled the erosion of media ethics in newsrooms and paints a vivid picture of how easy it is to manipulate the news.
This book will have you questioning everything you read which is how we should be consuming information.
As much as Harber is very critical of the state of journalism, however, he remains hopeful that there are still ethical journalists who are committed to the profession.
So, For the Record is a must read for media practitioners and the public.