Has news reporting become better or worse in South Africa since the early 1990s? When true-crime author and podcaster Janine Lazarus worked in
news in the early 90s, there was no Internet, no access to mobile
phones, no social media. She arguably broke just about every rule in newsroom ethics as she became increasingly obsessed with serial killer Kobus Geldenhuys.
Has news reporting become better or worse in South Africa since the early 1990s? When true-crime author and podcaster Janine Lazarus worked in news in the early 90s, there was no Internet, no access to mobile phones, no social media. She arguably broke just about every rule in newsroom ethics as she became increasingly obsessed with serial killer Kobus Geldenhuys.
While traditional reporting relies on hard facts, gonzo journalism takes
readers or listeners a step inside the mind and feelings of the
reporter as the story unfolds.
It’s written without objectivity, often
including a reporter as part of the story using a first-person
In Janine's case, the police used her flat as a surveillance
point at the height of Norwood serial killer Kobus Geldenhuys’ reign of terror. They also used the journalist
to try to lure the killer. And that breaks every rule in the traditional journalism guidebook to stay out of the story.
In episode two of our thrilling true-crime podcast, 'To Catch A Serial Killer’, Janine and Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio news editor Marius van der Walt are joined by Anton Harber, the Caxton Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand. Harber has a 35-year career in journalism, media management and training.
In a wide-ranging discussion, the three look at how sourcing news and how news
coverage itself has changed since the early 90s.
Have new communication
technologies revitalised the public sphere - or have they become the
commercial tool for an increasingly undemocratic news media?
‘To Catch a Serial Killer’ is the official companion podcast to Janine Lazarus’ recently launched true-crime memoir - ‘BAIT to Catch a Killer’.
“What makes this true-crime JacPod podcast series so novel is that it is set against a wonderful but volatile time in South Africa and speaks from an extremely personal point of view. Janine has covered many true-crime subjects, including the famous paedophile, Gert van Rooyen and his heinous deeds. She has serious clout and we want to offer our listeners the crème-of-the-crop in this genre. We’re thrilled to have Janine join us for this Jacaranda FM first,” says Deirdre King, Jacaranda FM Managing Director.
In episode one, Janine Lazarus, Dr Gerard Labuschagne (pictured below) - former head of the police’s
psychiatric unit and Marius van der Walt
discuss and explore the characteristics of serial killers that cut
across almost all of them.
They are very often family men with sinister secrets. They take care of
abused animals; can be a community’s much-loved babysitter; open support
groups for drug addiction.
Are people born serial killers, or is it their upbringing that makes them into what they become? Listen to the discussion and then make up your own mind.
If you prefer to listen via Apple, Google or Spotify, click on the relevant button below.