South African Media Gets A Failing Grade On Wildlife Issues
South African Media Gets A Failing Grade On Wildlife Issues – The “Media” is a controversial issue regardless of one’s country of origin. The media and the public – it is a convoluted relationship with no easy fix. The media drools over celebrities and nonsensical trivia and neglects to cover important issues. The media is fixated on one story of murder and mayhem to the exclusion of coverage of a racially charged incident. And the list goes on – why is this?
In South Africa – the issue of the destruction of and the buying and selling of endangered wildlife should be center stage – BUT – it’s not. What happens to tourism when the wildlife is gone? Why are the Big 5 being hunted to extinction? Why are elephants and rhinos being poached in staggering numbers? Why has the heinous “canned lion hunting” industry not been banned?
The murder of Satao in May 2014 should have been a game changer for the South African media. One of the last “big tuskers” …
Chris Mercer Of CACH Discusses This Issue And Explains Why South Africa Needs Help!
The failure of South African mainstream media – and why we need Australia’s help.
What on earth is the Italian Senate doing debating whether to ban the import of lion trophies? Surely protecting our wildlife heritage is our responsibility, not that of foreign media and foreign lawmakers?
Parliamentary motions to protect SA lions by banning the import of African lion trophies are pending in Australia, UK, Italy, and the EU Secretariat. In SA it was left to a minority party, the IFP, to file a motion to ban canned hunting.
Why is our media coverage of conservation issues so poor in SA? Why are journalists generally so ignorant of conservation matters? Rather than investing time and effort to really research and get their minds around wildlife matters, uninterested journalists are content to publish quotes from “recognised” authorities and NGO’s. The result is that mainstream media becomes “lame stream” media – a mouthpiece for government and hunting industry propaganda.
In turn, the result of this is a Parliament that is deceived into believing that our wildlife heritage is safe and in good hands. Nothing could be further from the truth.
And when they are not peddling misinformation from complacent authorities or special interests, the SA media simply misses the boat completely.
On March 15th 2014 a global march for lions took place in 62 cities around the world. This international service delivery protest against the institutionalised cruelty to wildlife which is SA conservation gained little traction in SA. This just happened to be the biggest protest worldwide for animals that has ever been organised. Newspapers around the world covered the marches, in graphic detail.
A press conference organised in Cape Town on the eve of the march failed to attract a single reporter. Shame on you all, SA journalists. SATV was there, but produced such a vague piece that no one even knew who was marching or why.
Now we see major action being taken in foreign countries to protect African wildlife. Look at these articles in the Australian media:
Why is the foreign media so much more concerned about protecting SA wildlife than the South African media?
Why are foreign Parliaments so much more advanced in taking action to protect our lions than our own Parliament, which has done nothing at all to ban canned lion hunting?
Why are we getting emails from 8 and 10 year old children in Melbourne, Australia asking us how they can help save SA lions? Where are the South African children who want to help?
Could it be that they don’t even know there is such a thing as canned hunting, because of the failure of journalism in SA? Why do we allow people like Melissa Bachman and Kendall Jones to come to South Africa to shoot arrows into tame lions? How can the SA press be silent on this issue?
Ben Trovato is the exception, with his witty article:
Will South African journalists and law makers do something about an industry that is reviled all over the world or will they, as usual, leave it to other countries to do it for us?