The Press Council of South Africa
Ref: Complaint 7865 True Green Alliance vs Daily Maverick.
I could inundate your office with similar complaints but have no intention of doing so because I can see that I would receive similar responses to all my complaints – which would still not solve my problem. So I am going to suggest that you examine my proposal (hereunder briefly exposed) that we work together (you and I – under the ombudsman’s flag) to create a ‘better informed’ Press Corps – about the principles and practices of wildlife management. I can see that the TGA will be criticising the people of the press until the cows come home, for reporting about wildlife management issues about which they clearly know absolutely nothing – BUT, I realise, we can’t continue to blame journalists for knowing nothing about wildlife management. How are they to learn if we don’t teach them? And I can ‘see’ that my complaints will carry no weight at all with your office (because of press rules). So the journalists will be able to express their ‘personal preference opinions’ forever – and escape the chance of any kind of improved performance – simply because, it seems, the press rules say reporters can express whatever opinions they like (whether they are true or false). Never mind that all the while the reporters will be ‘doing damage’ to Africa’s wildlife resources, to Africa’s tourism, to Africa’s people, and to African economies. The articles that we complain about go against the government’s National Conservation Strategy objectives; they are therefore irresponsible; and I would hope that ‘we’ could make them ‘responsible’.
Our principle complaint is that the Press are allowing and supporting blatant animal rights propaganda to be published – untruths that have no basis in scientific fact – and which work against the attainment of legitimate Department of the Environment (i.e. government) objectives that are essential to support good wildlife management practices. There is also a strong suggestion that the international animal rights brigade are currently guilty of being part of organised crime (because they make money out of telling lies in their propaganda – in which actions members of the Press are often complicit.) I hope that ‘You and I’, together, could produce a Press league that fully understands the wildlife management issues involved in all the controversial ‘conservation’ debates that the Press gets mixed up in. I think that it is essential that the Press ‘comes to the party’ on the side of this country’s wildlife heritage. I would be very interested to hear your reaction to this suggestion.
In the attachment, the etiology of the animal rights doctrine is explained in full (look at the second paper).
This is a genuine plea for your cooperation.
I am prepared to pull all stops to create such a properly informed Press.
I shall await your response before trying to take this suggestion further.
Ron Thomson. CEO-TGA