Published, May 03, 2016 by Dr Iqbal Survé, Cape Times at 14:27pm
Independent Media is not simply a news organisation, it’s the centre of a media revolution, says Dr Iqbal Survé.
Within this body of transformative media approaches is a beating heart advocating for social change and an ardent desire to represent the South African voices of those who have previously been repressed or ignored. Our tumultuous socio-economic climate has made many of us cynical about believing any, if not all, social change claims. However, over the course of Independent Media’s “reboot”, there is a clear timeline indicating its intentions. And it clearly says we are agents of social change and unapologetic about it.
Here’s an example: Cape Argus launched a new collaborative editorial initiative called#TheDignityProject. The aim is to restore the dignity of those who struggle on the streets, the homeless, the desperate and disparaged. It’s a 15-part daily series that seeks to highlight the struggles many homeless people face and what they go through every day to survive on the streets. What the Cape Argus explores is our reality; the factors that directly interact with our lives, the matters that truly affect us.
“We have all these misconceptions about the people who live in our city,”says Gasant Abarder, editor of the Cape Argus. “We pass them every day and we never bother to hear their side of the story…
I came back to the office and I said to my guys: ‘There are so many stories out there about these people, who we ignore every day. Let’s do something’.” The #RacismStopsWithMecampaign was launched on February 11, using Independent’s newspaper and online platforms to fight the scourge. Independent Media, and its parent company,Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, teamed up with the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers Union (Sactwu) and launched a campaign against all forms of racism by promoting active citizenry. The campaign has featured in all 20 newspaper titles and digital platforms, with Independent Media also encouraging debate and discussion on public platforms, in schools and universities throughout the country.