We cannot make good news out of BAD PRACTICE

It’s a Monday morning you log in to your computer expecting email of course otherwise you wouldn’t be checking your inbox and guess what I get an email from my childhood friend I haven’t seen or emailed in months who’s a reporter for one of Avusa’s (a giant media company which owns EP Herald, Dispatch, Sunday Times, Soccer Life etc.) newspaper houses.

She forwarded me an email she got from Mr Berger (I guess it had to do with the surname as it is the same as my boss). I’m sure she knew I’d have my own opinion on what Mr Berger thinks of media reports in South Africa.

I will not summarise what he wrote but post it as a whole so read it below and read my response to it at the bottom. Here it goes…(Warning: it contains strong language presumably aimed at media)


I don’t know about you but jislaaik I’m now getting really gatvol of all the bad news. South Africa once again seems to be falling through its own poephol. I think I’m going to puke if I hear any more s#*t about Jacob Zuma, Zimbabwe, Crime, Eskom, the Oil Price, Inflation, Soaring Food Costs, Bafana Bafana or even friggin Paris Hilton. I’ve absolutely had it with all this negativity, doom and gloom! I’m really SAT of it all ek se!!! How about you?

I mean it’s not like I want to gooi the ostrich vibe and bury my head in the sand. This shit is real and it’s serious and it’s happening all over…but not to me….YET!!! Nevertheless I can’t help but read it, hear about it it, see the headlines, hear the rumours…EVERYWHERE. It’s like they are brainwashing me boet. And the worst part of it is that I feel totally and completely HELPLESS. Useless. Disempowered. Castrated (almost.) Frustrated (completely.) I keep getting this heavy ball of anxious dread filling my guts and it feels really KAK! And the worst part of it all is that I am a motivational speaker who needs to stay positive and optimistic.

To top it all off, winter is coming so I can’t even feel good about the lekker weather any more!

Peter de Villiers, our new Springbok Rugby Coach, was quoted in a Sunday Times interview published on 4th May as saying: “The local media thrive on negativity. They have nothing good to say about their country. If there is something bad about this country the local media will break a leg to be the first to write about it. They’re a bunch of negative people who live in a world of their own, and are merely there to earn a living and not make SA a better place.”

I agree completely with the ou. I’m think that most of our journalists, reporters and editors are uninspired, negative, disaster focused, sensation seeking, sad sorry scumbags They find fault in everything and never propose any workable solutions. Many of the ordinary people of South Africa are busy doing wonderful little things every day, but none of it is newsworthy. Here’s the truth: There are roughly 6.6 billion people on planet earth. And according to the World Health Organization, some 56 million deaths occur per year, at the current global average. That works out to about 153 400 per day. That’s right – 153 400 deaths every 24 hours! So it’s not really hard work to find disasters, accidents, catastrophes, murders, muggings and general mayhem to fill the headlines. It’s actually pretty easy.

But during that same 24 hours, about 350 000 babies are born. That’s right, every 24 hours, around 350 000 beautiful, miraculous, perfect, pure, happy, untainted, precious little beings begin their journey on this planet. And what do journalists write about this? F%*k all that’s what! Unless of course a six month old baby is stabbed to death – then we never stop hearing about it!

Every day about 48 million of us get up, take a s*#t, clean our teeth (hopefully) and get on with our life. And many of us perform little acts of respect, compassion, kindness, service, giving, helping and creating. As Cath Jenkin wrote recently in her blog: “There is noise and joy and emotional honesty in the way we live. When we as a nation are happy, we celebrate. When we are sad, we are sad together. Does anything else really matter? At least we are together in the queue for petrol and/or torches.”

But for our media this is not newsworthy. It’s just life.

So I gave it all a lot of thought. Then I did some more real deep thinking. And guess what – buggerall happened! So I stopped thinking for a while, by learning to meditate. Then I stopped reading most of the newspapers. Then I stopped watching the news on TV and listening to the news in my car. And I stopped listening to people with negative chirps and bad energy. And I stopped focusing on what was going wrong in my life.  

Then I started to meditate every morning, after doing some simple yoga stretches and synchronized breathing exercises. And I replaced my morning cup of coffee and cigarette with some herbal tea and a dagga joint. (OK – joking about the joint!) And I re- read the Power of Now and Conversations with God and a Short History of Nearly Everything. And I began to visit an awesome positive website called sagoodnews.co.za.  And MAN did I start to feel better. MUCH BETTER. Then I started to watch every sunset possible, ride my bicycle, watch funny video’s on Youtube, work in my garden, walk on the beach – I fu&%#ng started living again BRU! From the inside out! And it finally hit me between the eyes, an epiphany:

You can’t change your thinking in order to improve your behaviour. You need to change your behaviour in order to improve your thinking
. It’s taken me many years of searching and many many books, self development courses and personal growth experiences to come to this simple truth.

So if you, like me, are feeling anxious, concerned, depressed or gatvol, why not try changing your behaviour and DOING something differently, from today.

For example:

Greet every SAP policeman you meet with a friendly smile or handshake and thank them for protecting you and your loved ones. Boy do they need some motivation!

Visit www.sagoodnews.co.za. Often.

Read an inspiring book.

Write a poem.

Get into nature (or walk barefoot on your lawn!)

Write down everything you have to be grateful for. Every morning.

Play inspirational music, especially when the news comes on your radio.

Find some way to exercise your body a little more. (Endorphins are lekker!)

Try out one of the 100 available techniques of mediation or relaxation.

Watch the sunrise and/or sunset.

Create a morning ritual to make your day beautiful.

Find out and speak about the good news.

Choose to be happy.

And don’t allow the media to f%&k with your mind.

Most importantly, seek out and speak your own truth and live a whole life.

You deserve it.

And in doing so, you will change your life and make a massive difference to this special place we call home.

PS: To all the media people out there – I’m all for a free press. Really. I’m just sick and tired of your continued obsessive focus with everything negative. When are you going to realize that you are not merely reporting on what is happening – you are CAUSING some of it by your actions. Yes – YOU! You are helping to perpetuate a dangerous cycle of violence and destruction. I accept that bad news sells, but soon there will be nobody left here to buy it! Please cheer up and get a life or piss off and go find another job. Serious. I’ve had it with your sensationalism and scandal. Enough already. Start doing your job and working a little bit harder to creatively seek out and give some headline space to the good stuff going down in SA. Trust me, it’s there!

(Pheeew it feels good to have got that off my chest!!!)

I wish you an awesome day. Choose to make it that way!

Mark Berger.

(Please feel free to forward this mail to anyone whom you feel may be in need of some good news.)

Mark Berger Training
Tel: (021) 554 0787

www.markberger.co.za <http://www.markberger.co.za/>


My response

“We cannot make good news out of bad practice”. Edward R. Murrow, if the Mbalula regime extends to Julius Malema or Vavi refuses to apologise what must we do?

If Mbeki says a certain president is dead, should we say he said, he’s alive?

Should we hide that people have been burnt alive on the streets after being accused of being non-South Africans?

When nepotism is rife should we say it’s not, when Will Smith calls Madiba a boy should we hide it  cause he’s popular and perhaps contributed financially to our community upliftment projects.

Each day in South Africa a baby is killed, a woman is raped, should we hide this disgusting behaviour?

More than one ATM is bombed per day, should we ignore that and pretend there’s no such?

We do have organisations of cause that try and change things but do we support them i.e. for good (www.forgood.co.za) have you subscribed to its website so you can be up to date with what’s happening?

These are just some of the things that make it on to the media reports can you imagine how many more barbaric actions that don’t make it to media.

No matter how much we try to avoid the facts that lead to the threat of the Soccer World Cup being taken away, it won’t take the threat away. Instead it will keep us relaxed and certain that everything is in order until a big hole opens up in the middle of the road (Mbombela or Gautrain railway builders).

When you’re building high fences & boom gates, buying the latest security equipment should we say you’re just showing off?

I shouldn’t be getting emotional about your opinion but dem, a woman is raped in South Africa every 17 seconds. This does not include the number of child rape victims. It has been estimated that one in every two women would be raped.

Between 28 and 30 percent of adolescents reported that their first sexual encounter was forced. Should we hide this?



1 Comment

Filed under Commentary, Crime, Politics, South African Government

One response to “We cannot make good news out of BAD PRACTICE

  1. I don’t know what to say I know that crime does exist but I never thought it is this much I am so shocked and scared.

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