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Media Watch: Ferial Haffajee Moves to City Press and Sneak Preview of Essop Pahad's The Thinker

thinker-cover.jpg

Ferial Haffajee Japie Basson, Koos Human, Truwella Human, Claire Basson, Ton Vosloo, Christo Wiese and Essop Pahad Alert! BOOK SA’s desultory eye flits hither and thither across the South African media, and occasionally spies something that gives us cause to deviate from our laser-like focus on SA Lit.

Or, in this case, two things: first, for those who don’t know, Mail & Guardian editor Ferial Haffajee is moving over to the City Press, a much bigger (and blacker) newspaper owned by Media24/Naspers. We’ve had our differences with Haffajee in the past, but wish her best of luck with the new job. Here’s hoping she can bring some extra piquancy – along with, dare we dream, a dedicated books page – to the “distinctly African” read.

Second, former Thabo Mbeki chief induna/handlanger Essop Pahad’s new glossy magazine, The Thinker, briefly showed its e-petticoats yesterday at thethinker.co.za. (The magazine’s strapline is “For Thought Leaders”. Wonder what the folks at the M&G‘s ThoughtLeader think of that.) The content there was quickly whisked away, however, so that a visit now leads to an “under construction” page.

But they weren’t quick enough for Google, which cached two pages of the website, including the landing page, where we find the magazine’s initial cover image (see above), and prose of the kind that causes mild indigestion. (Plus a whopper of typo.) To wit:

“As Rodin communicated in his statue, ‘Le Penseur’, we will endaveavour [sic] to do everything to ensure that ‘The Thinker’ remains a journal of thought – progressive thought.”

– Dr Essop Pahad, Editor

Want some more?

In a highly competitive world, and particularly in the dissemination of progressive ideas, analysis and commentary is no easy undertaking. We therefore trust that all who are committed to the realisation of the democratic ideal of freedom of thought and expression will respond positively to this journal to ensure its continuity and viability.

The Thinker Magazine is available at cna and exclusive bookshops or click here to subscribe to this upmarket journal

We also get a preview of the first issue’s contents:

Face to face interviews with Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma
– by Dr Essop Pahad
…………………………………………………………………………………………..
A brave new world:
Our democratic politics, some now predict, may
turn out to look much like the old wprld in which
we now live
– by Steven Friedman
……………………………………………………………………………………………
Budgeting in a time of crisis
– by Kuben Naidoo
……………………………………………………………………………………………
Culture as a socialisation and indestructible
phenomena
– by Dr Mongane Wally Serote
……………………………………………………………………………………………
The Challenge of Income Inequality in South Africa:Implications for thr future
By: Prof Haroon Bhorat
……………………………………………………………………………………………
Challenges facing the ANC-led administration post-2009 General Elections.
– by Zamikhaya Maseti

The other page that Google cached was the magazine’s rates card. Now, no magazine worth its salt is without one, and magazine ad sales reps generally charge like wounded buffaloes when it comes to rates, but The Thinker‘s card is rather ambitious: for a journal with a print run of just 5 000 copies, it’s asking for R12 500 for a full page ad – looks like you can’t buy less than that – and almost R30 000 for the all-conquering outside back cover.

The rates card also lists the magazine’s contributing writers, which is somewhat unusual. Perhaps it’s a special plea: “See the quality here? Book an ad!”

Good luck to the thinkers in all their endaveavours [sic]. Screenshots follow, with links, links, links. We hope you’ve enjoyed this short detour away from SA Lit. Regular broadcasting will resume shortly!

The Thinker Landing Page

The Thinker landing page

The Thinker Rate Card

The Thinker Rate Card

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://liesljobson.bookslive.co.za" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    Liesl
    March 31st, 2009 @11:48 #
     
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    There's got to be a prize for this class of journalism.

    This is a whopper of a find, Ben-Editor. Bravo!!!

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://fionasnyckers.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Fiona</a>
    Fiona
    March 31st, 2009 @11:55 #
     
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    "Hmmmm ..." she said, dubiously.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://sarahbritten.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sarah</a>
    Sarah
    March 31st, 2009 @14:41 #
     
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    "The Thinker". A magazine for people who don't.

    Bottom
  • <a href="http://helenmoffett.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    Helen
    March 31st, 2009 @16:30 #
     
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    Falling even faster down the rabbit hole. On the editing (never mind the proofreading, just the editing) I have this to say: You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. "Culture as a socialisation and indestructible phenomena" -- huuuuuuuuuuuh?

    There are some good contributors, some mouthpieces, and some I'd pay never to have to read again...well done, Ben-editor, you're on fire today.

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  • <a href="http://tomeaton.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Tom</a>
    Tom
    March 31st, 2009 @21:16 #
     
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    Anthony Delius wrote a poem called 'The Thinker' in which a depressed cricket walks round and round a lavatory, "like a lonely manager of a cement factory", pondering the great mysteries of falling trousers and flushing toilets.

    In the end he thinks, "Well, there must be a rational explanation, I suppose - but, all the same, it seems bloody queer".

    It's almost as if he's been reading the Interwebs.

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  • <a href="http://rustumkozain.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    April 1st, 2009 @09:37 #
     
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    White rabbit.

    "I'd pay never to have to read again"
    ""like a lonely manager of a cement factory""

    God, I should just compose 'found' poems by nicking lines from BookSA contribootions.

    Also, Ben, maybe it's really 'endavivas' (end of vivas?)

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  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    April 2nd, 2009 @16:38 #
     
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    Nic Dawes is appointed editor of the M&G - no one deserved it more - and Rapule Tabane the dep. ed. Kudos, jounos!

    http://www.mg.co.za/article/2009-04-02-nic-dawes-named-as-new-mg-editor

    Bottom

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