BY LINDANI MEMANI / When South Africa’s largest Sunday paper, the Sunday Times, on its April 19 front page published a photograph of a man in the act of being stabbed and killed, readers took to the social media and aired their views. It is common for photojournalists to be condemned for the job they do. Some in the industry are accused of taking photographs and walking away with Pulitzer prizes unconcerned about what became of the people in the images that earned them recognition. But that’s not the case in this instance. When the media cover violence by publishing a foreign national in the act of being killed, people can reflect on their ideologies, help the police with arrests and organize for social change.
By LINDANI MEMANI / As soon as news in March of Trevor Noah’s appointment to replace Jon Stewart of the Daily Show became public, online spaces flooded with calls for his axing. While the news in South Africa was met with an explosion of excitement and pride, the same cannot be said about the reception to the news in America. The NPR headline “Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart’s replacement, goes from hero to villain In 24 hours” succinctly captured the speed at which the news story was developing. Noah, a 31-year-old South African comedian, was tossed to the middle of a whirlwind over jokes he had made on Twitter as far back as 2011. In some of these jokes, which were included in most online news sites ranging from blogs to CNN, Noah disparaged Jews, African Americans and fat women. Writing for Vox, Kelsey McKinney labeled Noah’s jokes as “misogyny, fat-shaming, anti-Semitism, and a large dose of homophobia,” something she said she found “upsetting.” McKinney then suggested that a comedian hosting the Daily Show “should be held to a higher standard than other comedians.”