Free Marketplace of Ideas vs Four Horsemen

So swiftly that not even the most prescient of us heard the distant thunder of their hooves,  the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have galloped into our lives . Their names are Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un and Bashar al-Assad. Together this megalomaniacal foursome — just like the Horsemen in the Book of Revelations — […]

Jimmy Breslin

A man I taught to write wins a Pulitzer Prize for journalism a while back and dies just this week. The Puitzer is for newspaper commentaries “ … which consistently champion ordinary citizens.” This man wins the Pulitzer because be writes about ordinary women and men — people like you and me — as if […]

Something of Value

The Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) has commissioned me to train nine senior South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) journalists in the ways of interviewing. Following is the story of the first time I trained SABC journalists. Twenty-two years ago. At the time I was lead TV journalism trainer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Johannesburg, South Africa, 1994 Buildings reflect […]

Sometimes I Get it Right

  It’s a full two-and-a-half years since I last practiced the dangerously dark art of political prognostication. I was living in Canada at the time and writing the weekly media column, Watching the Watchdog, for Huffington Post. The dying, third-place Liberal Party had just elected a new leader, one Justin Pierre James Trudeau, only 43, son […]

God, Spies and Lies

It’s 1993. A year before South Africa’s first-ever democratic election. Small groups of journalists secretly leave South Africa for intensive training workshops at Canada’s public broadcaster, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), in Toronto, Canada. You could call them voortrekkers (“those who go ahead”). They’re pioneers sent by the African National Congress (ANC) and other anti-apartheid political […]