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    Skein Me

    One year down the line and it seems Ann’s hopes for positive change have been well and truly dashed and some of her worst fears realised, to the point where she felt she had to quit – after 18 years chafing under and railing against the Irish yoke and without another gig lined up – in good conscience after the treatment meted out to highly respected colleagues like Alide Dasnois, Chris Whitfield and Terry Bell, and the threats against senior Cape Times staff made by new executive editor Karima Brown. These vindictive acts are not those of people thinking for the long term, and one can see why Ann called for “codes of ethics that guide the behaviour of management and owners”. Once the Sekunjalo consortium whittled the staff stake down to a token 7% or less and coralled it under a holding structure that further diluted its influence, the writing was on the wall for the trust’s vision of broad-based transformation that would “guarantee the independence and diversity of our newspapers and… mobilise the skills, talents and experience of staff in order to realise the neglected potential of this company”. Instead, editorial independence has been trampled on, diversity of opinion has been outlawed while two of the last “minority” editors have been squeezed out, and skilled, talented and experienced staff are made to feel unwelcome, with the Cape Times and Business Report in particular suffering an exodus of senior journalists, while morale has thoroughly soured. Is it any accident that the prime movers of the staff trust, Alide Dasnois and Ann Crotty, have been sidelined?

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