To: All Media Editors, Journalists and News Outlets
RE: MACUA Rejects AngloAmerican Mining’s Media Campaign and Calls On Media houses to provide fair and balanced airtime and media space to the victims of Anglo American.
We have noticed over the last few months, and particularly during February in which the Mining Indaba has attracted much media attention, that Anglo American has increased its media spend and have blanketed the country with Billboards, Radio and Print Media Adverts and other marketing gimmicks in which they repeat an obvious falsehood that they are instrumental in supporting and funding thriving communities.
“Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels and which the American Right wing and fascists groups have used to great effect to elect Donald Trump in 2017.
While we have understanding for the media’s blind allegiance to the power of money, we believe that the media holds a higher duty to provide society with a fair and balanced understanding of the issues that animate the daily struggles for justice of marginalized communities and individuals in particular.
Marginalised communities do not have access to the billions of US dollars of profit that Anglo has extracted from their lands, and thus they are not able to buy media space, access and privilege as Anglo so glibly does with its historical legacy of colonial exploitation of the South African land and people.
The extent of the AngloAmerican media whitewash is so extensive that even where communities and civil society have presented hard evidence of non-compliance and violations, the media often either ignores it for not being newsworthy, or briefly shines a light on it, only for the real issues to be subverted by the constant stream of untruths sponsored and paid for by the very same wealth that was stolen from them.
Media organisations should appreciate that every square centimetre on a print or digital page and every second of screen time they produce is news time and space.
Thus, when a media organization spends hours flighting adverts for AngloAmerican, that is news time that is denied to the victims, the marginalized communities affected by the mining operations of AngloAmerican. We call on all Media organisations who are benefitting from the stream of advertising undertaken by
AngloAmerican, to provide equal time and access to mining affected communities and civil society organisations who are the victims of AngloAmerican.