Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
I HAVE some harsh words for the media's treatment of the heroic (in all ways!) Caster Semenya, pictured.
In many ways they are being "vicious in the name of virtue" - and they know it! An example of this was when a mass-circulation Sunday newspaper published a front page story quoting a mere "researcher and activist", Lisa Vetten, who declared: "They have turned her into a freak."
One does not seek out such hurtful comments and certainly they should not be published.
Opposing and hostile athletes will pick up the insult by saying: "Oh no, we're running against the freak!"
This kind of journalism which purposefully seeks out the sensational "sound byte", gives credibility to the remark by the famous English writer Oscar Wilde, who said: "Modern journalism is survival of the vulgarest."
Wilde, who himself suffered the consequences of being a "press target", eventually concluded that "the conscience of an editor is purely decorative".
My appeal to the media generally is to avoid publishing hurtful stereotypes of our heroine, who has been burdened with that which is not of her making and which is not her fault - even when such words are uttered by those who mean well, but fail to consider the consequences of their sensational utterances.
Sick jokes from sick minds also abound: Please avoid publishing them. Even if you say: "These jokes are sick" they will stick - and be repeated ad nauseam.
Sorry, Semenya, there are those who "know not what they do".
Cliff Saunders, Northcliff