The folly of good news quotas (from 2013)

No shortage of good news if one looks hard enough 11 OCTOBER 2013 - 07:54 ANTHONY BUTLER THE state broadcaster’s acting chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, recently reduced hardened reporters to tears, when he observed that positive news stories help nation-building: "You are building the future of the kids." Guptarian media celebrity Jimmy Manyi equally movingly …

Presidential enquiries usually change nothing (from 2013)

Presidential inquiries not intended to find the truth 16 AUGUST 2013 - 07:50 ANTHONY BUTLER AN unfortunate misunderstanding prevails in South Africa’s public life: citizens labour under the false impression that a presidential commission of inquiry is meant to uncover the truth. The commission of inquiry, an institution found in most Commonwealth countries, is an ad …

Why the electoral system should not be changed (from 2013)

Constituency elections hold too many pitfalls 26 JULY 2013 - 07:30 ANTHONY BUTLER IT IS now 10 years since the Electoral Task Team, chaired by the late Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, released its famous report on electoral reform. A Cape Town round-table discussion this week, organised by the Forum for Public Dialogue (FPD) and the University …

What does the new technological revolution mean?

ANTHONY BUTLER: The full implication of rapid technological change is impossible to predict Despite seven out of 10 of the world’s poorest owning a cellphone, and the internet reaching more than 3-billion, ‘digital dividends’ have been disappointing BL PREMIUM 12 MAY 2017 We are at the beginning of a great information and communications revolution. Already …

Zuma’s terrible policy conference

ANTHONY BUTLER: Zuma had a disastrous policy conference The president’s theatrics and swagger fooled no one, with the Zuma camp’s anticipated symbolic victories coming to nothing Business Day 07 JULY 2017 - 06:14 ANTHONY BUTLER President Jacob Zuma had a disastrous policy conference. Widespread expectations that a coalition of pro-Zuma provinces and leagues would sweep aside …