This week has been pretty tough but exciting for us at The New African Gazette. We are a small media company with great potential. The bullying of journalists takes place on a regular basis by those who are adverse to the bad publicity that comes along when one’s dirty deeds are exposed to the general public. Such matters are not often reported but any journalist worth his or her salt is very well familiar with the intimidation tactics employed by those who are adverse to such exposure.
We were threatened with lawsuits but by and large, our skin is thick and we know that such threats come as part of the territory.
But never has the bullying of journalists been quite as blatant as it was with threatening letters we received on Wednesday from big businesses operating in the pension funds administration sector and mining, over a story that is yet to be published.
There is no need to go into the merits of the yet to be published articles in question. The basic fact is that sending 6 threatening letters is not only a case of overkill on a massive scale. It is a case of bullying tactics against the press to the highest degree.
Such tactics are unacceptable on any level and while everyone in this country is, of course, has the right to defend their integrity before the courts what we experienced is blatant bullying.
Any journalist who creates or concocts a story out of thin air should undoubtedly face the full brunt of the law, there is no question about that. But for big business to throw its weight around in such a manner is wholly unacceptable and anyone in the press, irrespective of the political stripe of their respective newsrooms, should recoil not only in horror but in disgust at the actions these companies have resorted to.
The kind of intimidation applied by these big companies can have long-ranging repercussions on small media companies like us. And it is for that reason that we are going to publish the story.