Does The Freedom of Expression Institute think that Anton Harber is a neo-conservative?
FIX THE FXI posted the following on Anton Harber's blog (The Harbinger) re his article "Are these the thoughts of a neo-conservative?"
September 12th, 2007 at 2:25 pm
I think you are an old style ANC leftist. I am not fooled by your attempt to distance yourself from the neo-conservative label. All “old style ANC leftists” are neo-conservatives. It is a particular breed that identifies with the ANC establishment and has to toe the party line either to keep employment or to get rich quick. That, of course, is the awful irony of the New South Africa. Dali Mpofu should be astute enough to realize this.
Anton, give us a straight answer to a straight question..Do you think Snuki Zikalala should be sacked?
Why doesn't Harber call for Snuki's sacking in the following article? Surely, Zikalala's role as head of news and current affairs at The ANCB (AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS BROADCASTING) should be mentioned? Harber has clearly backed off at a time when he should be sharpening his pen. So... it might be best to take Harber's "beliefs" with a large pinch of politically correct salt. In his position as head of journalism at Wits, Harber is now very much part of the establishment.
Actually, having thought about it a bit more, Harber is a "left-wing ANC neo-conservative". According to the latest edition of The DSM ( The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), this political shizophrenia is not treatable and ultimately leads to censorship and national insanity.
WHAT DOES ANTON HARBER REALLY BELIEVE ?
(1) He believes that he can gently criticize govt but he must not rock the boat.
(2) he believes that if he rocks the boat he will not have a long-term future in South Africa.
(3) He believes that he should be politically correct.
(4) He believes that he should support Ronno Einstein’s anti-zionist escapades.
(5) He believes that Zikalala should be sacked but he doesn’t believe that he has the guts to shout it from the rooftops.
(6) He believes he should have a public spat with Dali Mpofu so that he can underline that his "beliefs"
do not threaten Mbeki's government.
(7) He believes that it is not even worth discussing what a "right wing neo-conservative" actually believes.
(8) He believes that any beliefs he once had must be flushed down The ANC's democratic toilet.
(9) He believes that it is not worth fighting tooth and nail for freedom of expression in South Africa.
(10) He believes, when he turns off the light at night, that he doesn't have any beliefs.
Are these the thoughts of a neo-conservative?
by Anton Harber
September 3rd, 2007
SABC boss Dali Mpofu called me a rightwing neo-conservative in the weekend papers. It is the second time he has done that. But you can judge for yourself.
Let me spell out a few things about myself.
I believe in a public broadcaster, and I would like it to get greater state support and become less dependent on advertising so it can make editorial decisions with greater freedom than the commercial media. The public broadcaster should be able to do more things which commercial media can’t do - those things that may not make commercial sense but make for good journalism, education and public debate. I believe the public broadcaster should be setting the standards for journalism in this country.
I believe the government should, through the Media Development and Democracy Agency, be putting more resources into growing community media. Small, local media is the bedrock of media diversity and will feed the bigger national media. We need more of it, and the government’s role should be to enable and stimulate it.
I support local content regulations and would like to see them gradually increased to promote local drama, music and our indigenous cultural industry.
I believe we need more media in more of our official languages and the government should be subsidising this through channels such as the Pan-Language Board.
I believe the government should be closely watching the development or potential development of media monopolies, or over-powerful media groups, in order to protect and encourage diversity. I believe the state should be ensuring that we have an equitable and accessible newspaper distribution system which is open to all and encourages new and more voices, and is not controlled by the big at the expense of the small players.
I believe we need to strengthen the broadcasting and telecoms regulator and take the power of appointment of councillors away from the Minister, who has too great an influence on this body. I believe we should encourage them to license more television and radio stations.
I believe the state should be much more aggressive and interventionist in promoting cheap broadband access for all South Africans. We cannot fully exercise our economic and political rights without it.
I believe the state should stop taxing books and spend a lot more on libraries and related services.
I believe in a journalism which is fiercely independent, critical and outspoken. I don’t care much whether stories are positive or negative, but I do care if they are insightful, probing, informative and thought-provoking. I believe journalists are there to prod us into thinking about things, to cause trouble for the complacent, and to get up the noses of anyone with power and authority. I believe that patriotic journalism is when we play our proper role in ensuring that power is not abused and that political and financial power is wielded with accountability and transparency. I believe that we practice developmental journalism not when we spend our time telling everyone what government, business or NGOs are doing, but when we ask tough questions on behalf of those who can’t ask themselves, and demand proper answers.
These are all views I have expressed from time to time in my writings. You can decide whether these are the views of a neo-con.
ANTON HARBER BIOGRAPHY
In 1996, Harber helped put together a consortium to bid for privatised radio licences, a group which was the only one to win two licences. In March 1997, Harber was appointed CEO of Kagiso Broadcasting, owners of a number of media interests, and in October 1997 an executive director of Kagiso Media Limited, listed on the JSE. He served as a member of the boards of East Coast Radio (Pty) Ltd, Jacaranda 94.2fm (Pty) Ltd; Ofm (Pty) Ltd, Systems Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Radmark (Pty) Ltd and Kagiso Exhibitions (Pty) Ltd.
He was chairperson of the National Association of Broadcasters for two years (1999/2000), a member of the board of South African Advertising Research Foundation and a trustee of the Media Industry Trust. He has served as a media adviser to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellowship for Journalists programme of the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a trustee of the Phil Harber Jazz Education Trust and the Anthony Sampson Foundation and he is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism. He is convenor of judges for the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Awards and the Taco Kuiper Awards and Grants for Investigative Journalism.