Monday, February 26, 2024

    Our call to you: 7UP the Daily Vox

    On June 16th, we celebrated our 7th birthday. We’ve kicked butt and taken names. And we’re ready to keep doing it with your support.

    Here’s why.

    At some point over the last two months, if you searched “The Daily Vox”, the first result you would have been served is an advertisement from the South African Zionist Federation, who had taken issue with our reporting on Israel’s assault on Gaza.

    A few days later, the same organisation launched a campaign to advertise directly on our homepage, boldly claiming that we have a lot to say about Palestine but are silent about the persecution of Uighur Muslims in China.

    While a brief search of our site would quickly prove otherwise, we still do not want to fall into the trap of responding to a difficult conversation by raising an altogether different issue. It’s a common technique deployed in debates about the humanity of Palestinian people. We want instead, to continue sharpening our journalism in the favour of justice everywhere.

    And this is not even the first time organisations supporting Israel and Israeli interests in South Africa have targeted us in this way.

    This is what we’ve been doing for the last seven years and a bit.

    We have trained some of the best young journalists in South Africa, given some journalists a launch pad into prestigious fellowships, unrelated we’ve gotten on the nerve of university administrators, but we have also reshaped South African journalism during #FeesMustFall, spoke about the problem of Rhodes statues before it was hashtag, won an international award, we have been lauded for the way we covered elections, do not shy away from difficult conversations about race, we continue to zero in on gender-based violence, giving young people everywhere the chance to see themselves, their values and aspirations reflected in their news.

    In everything we have done, we have made clear that we do not hide behind the veneer of objectivity. We believe that human beings are complex and bias is unavoidable. So instead of hiding behind some warped idea of neutrality, we endeavour instead for fairness in our coverage. And we have taken a stance, for example, in #FeesMustFall, or on Palestine, we make that known explicitly. We don’t treat our readers like unwitting objects, we want you together on this journey with us.

    And we want you to know that we will continue to do journalism in the service of justice.

    One of the advertisements taken out to counter our work on Palestine read, “The Israel-Palestinian conflict is complicated but Israel is not to blame, see why. The Palestinian-Aparthied narrative is a lie. It is time you educate yourself.”

    To be clear, there is nothing particularly complicated about what is still happening in Palestine. As Human Rights Watch recently pointed out in a more than 100 page report, Israel enforces a system of Apartheid on the Palestinian people. As South Africans we know too well the effects of Apartheid on people. And that’s it. We are people. You. Us. People fighting for vaccine justice, for better access to higher education, to and end to bloody dictatorships and occupations, we are people. And we are nothing without our stories.

    Over the next two months we hope to raise an amount of R250,000 to continue telling your stories, our stories.

    Please support us with a donation, however small. And if you can’t, please share our campaign with your friends and family. In return for your support, we can’t promise you tote bags or mugs – at least not this time – but we promise to keep doing this work. Telling our stories.

    Thank you besties.