Month: April 2014

Now Dutch readers can buy stories from virtually any large Dutch media with one click

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Blendle takes content from 15 or so of the Netherlands’ top newspaper and magazine publishers and allows users to buy stories individually, with just a click, no matter where they were originally published. The publishers set the price and take 70 percent of the revenue while Blendle takes the other 30 percent. But Blendle needed a way to convince readers that they weren’t risking too much by, say, clicking on that overwrought trend piece about gezichtshaar. (That’s Dutch for facial hair.)

Read the full story at The Nieman Journalism Lab.

Crowdfunding critical thought: How alternative finance builds alternative journalism

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“Not only is investigative journalism the most expensive style of journalism, but it is also the most likely to incur further liabilities once a story gets published. Providing finance to underdog investigative journalists – fronting them money to go off in search of stories – has always been a risky undertaking.” Read the full story by Brett Scott at Contributoria.

The Case for Profanity in Print

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“Our society’s comfort level with offensive language and content has drastically shifted over the past few decades, but the stance of our news media has barely changed at all. Even when certain words are necessary to the understanding of a story, the media frequently resort to euphemisms or coy acrobatics that make stories read as if they were time capsules written decades ago, forcing us all into wink-wink-nudge-nudge territory. Even in this essay, I am unable to be clear about many of my examples.” –  Jesse Sheidlower

Read Jesse Sheidlower’s ope-ed, The Case for Profanity in Print, in The New York Times. Sheidlower is a lexicographer, the president of the American Dialect Society and the author of “The F-Word.”

Who Killed Moses Tshake?

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A man trying to fight corruption and restore financial discipline in the Free State was hijacked and maimed in February 2013, and died the following May. Moses Tshake was asking questions about the province’s corrupt agricultural projects before he died. Now the investigation into his murder has stalled. Mandy de Waal and Jon Pienaar investigate why.

Drawing of Moses Tshake. Courtesy of and Meghan Judge.

“My hart is stukkend. My seun is dood vir fokol,” David Tshake says on the phone to GroundUp from Mafikeng. (My heart’s broken. My son died for fuck all.) It has been almost a year since the old man’s son, Moses Tshake, died in a Bloemfontein hospital, three months after being maimed in a hijacking on 22 February 2013.

Speaking in Afrikaans, David Tshake expresses his disappointment that the SAPS investigation into his son’s death doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. “We opened a case with the police and they just don’t find his murderers. We keep on phoning the investigating officer. But nothing happens. We just sit and we wait, and nothing happens.”

In a country where many murders go unnoticed, this homicide made it into the newspapers last year because of the work Moses Tshake did. In the grand struggle between good and evil – between those forces of government that deliver public service and those who exploit government as a resource to steal public money – Moses Tshake was one of the ‘good guys’. An auditor, Tshake was employed by the Free State provincial government to help manage financial ethics and adherence to good governance in the province.

At the time of his death, Volksblad reports, Tshake headed audits for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Free State, and was asking questions about controversial provincial government projects. Read the full story on GroundUp.

The Unbearable Entitlement Of Being a Dictator

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“Why point a gun at one person to take one gold coin when you can point a constitution at a million people and take a million gold coins?”

Tom Eaton in The Big Read: We have known this man on

Photo: President Jacob Zuma’s “blue light brigade. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko) via Daily Maverick.


Read more: Blue Light Brigade: The president’s bullies assault journalist by Alex Eliseev on Daily Maverick.


Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil

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“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956