Media laughs on April Fools
by Herman Manson (@marklives) April 1, a day in which the mainstream media plays tricks on readers by publishing/broadcasting stories that ranges from the plausible but untrue to the improbable, and disguises fiction as news, is always an interesting alternative measure of media zeitgeist. Of course, post WMD and the Iraq war and Rupert Murdoch’s incarnation of The Galactic Empire, the more cynical amongst us could be excused for feeling many news days offer little more than Ground Hog Day meeting April Fools.
So what are on the media’s radar this year? Oscar Pistorius and North Korea, increasingly desperate measures by the treasury to dig into your pocket as the political class empty out the cookie jar and technology and its impact on language/habits/life all made an appearance. Julius Malema, deposed from his soapbox and stripped of his assets, was less fun to make fun off, although Times Live gave it a shot.
Here are some April Fools highlights from around the web:
Finance minister Pravin Gordhan proposed at the weekend that a levy of 50c/MB be imposed on broadband users from next year to make up for dwindling government tax receipts.
The proposal would mean that a mobile user who consumes on average 500MB of data per month can expect to pay an additional amount of R250/month for access to the Internet. For example, Vodacom’s “broadband standard” bundle of 500MB, which currently costs R149/month, would rise to R399 under Gordhan’s proposal.
BitTorrent downloads, websites to be blocked in SA
BitTorrent downloads and access to popular torrent tracking websites like The Pirate Bay are set to be blocked in South Africa
The South African Federation Against Copyright Theft (SAFACT) has successfully lobbied the Department of Communications (DoC) to issue a policy directive to block BitTorrent protocols and access to all popular torrent tracking websites in South Africa.
The government has announced that Mxlish has been included as South Africa’s 12th official language.
Mxlish, the language used on Mxit, has been adopted on a recommendation from the department of arts and culture and endorsed by the Pan South African Languages Board (PanSALB).
The first street signs in Mxlish should be ready once tenders have been awarded. Reports suggest that three companies from Limpopo have been included on the preferred bidders’ list.
Paralympian (and murder-accused) Oscar Pistorius will lead South Africa’s team in Kim Jong-Un’s latest initiative, aimed at building bridges between less-understood world regimes and less-understood global figures. According to unconfirmed reports, Pistorius’s brave and principled stand inspired the Young Leader to launch the Friendship Run.
The inaugural Friendship Run takes place on 10 May, at 18:00 local time (12:00 SA time) SABC 1,2, and 3 will broadcast the event live. The New Age will have its team in Pyongyang, by gracious personal invitation of Kim Jong-Un. Watch the Twitter stream from The New Age breakfast: North Korean edition
Former ANC Youth League president and political firebrand Julius Malema has joined the Democratic Alliance.
“The ANC has become the new Nationalists, they have become the voice of the oppressor,” Malema continued, “and a united opposition is needed to stop them.”
From the printed word to the multimedia tablet, the Guardian has embraced technology like no other newspaper. Now, Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief, unveils the latest exciting step in the Guardian’s mission to harness the power of online media: Guardian Goggles, delivering our quality journalism straight between the eyes
— Guardian launches ‘augmented reality’ specs to offer immersive liberal insight
Guardian Goggles’ anti-bigotry technology will automatically redact columns by Melanie Phillips or Richard Littlejohn
– News from adland you’ll make time for. Sign up for our free newsletter!