The Plague and Me

(Commissioned by and adapted from Tony Sutton’s ColdType website: “Writing Worth Reading From Around the World.”)   April 6, 2020 Dear friends and colleagues, I know you haven’t asked me, but thought I’d get ahead of the curve and report that I’m in great shape, mentally and physically — although approaching my prime with unseemly […]

The Thursday Evening Trot

  Of Journalism’s Church, State and Thursday Evenings   This article is adapted from War Reporter by Day, Revolutionary by Night written for Tony Sutton’s international website ColdType (Writing Worth Reading From Around the World), page 47, as part of his Radical Vignette series. It’s the mid-sixties.  I’m 27 and have already survived reporting on anti-apartheid revolts and […]

Death of a Bang-Bang Man

Don North was a war correspondent. A bang-bang man, up there with the very best of that elite breed. He came out of Vancouver, worked at CTV, Global and CBC in Canada, and ABC, CBS and NBC in New York.  He reported from more wars and insurrections than most of us can name or remember. […]

Morgan Almighty

Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen — that stillness
becomes a radiance. Morgan Freeman My old friend Morgan Freeman has just won the American Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) Life Achievement award for his work in movies and — even more impressive — his humanitarian accomplishments. The prestigious award is given […]

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 — […]

Second Battle of Muizenberg

Some 220 years ago the British defeated the Dutch in the battle of Muizenberg and seized the Cape Colony for their king across the water. It was really more of a skirmish than a battle. Just a couple of soldiers killed. Even so, the battle of Muizenberg was a hugely important event in this country — […]

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 […]

Of Trump, Zuma and “L’etat c’est moi.”

My Dear Americans, So very sorry to hear about your new president and the appalling way he’s treating you. I really, really feel your pain. But be of good cheer. You’re not alone. We, here in South Africa, know what it’s like to elect a paranoid, grandiose, delusional, narcissistic, demagogic and probably sociopathic president. Our […]

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 […]