Peter Bruce Editor-at-large & columnist

It seems a long time ago — 1999. But it was a watershed year for me. There was an election. Nelson Mandela had decided to stand down after just one term in office and Thabo Mbeki was leading the ANC into the polls. I was editor of the Financial Mail. Editing weekly publications is much more difficult in a way than dailies because you live off ideas. On a daily, the news always saves you at the last minute.My idea about a month before the election was to endorse a political party. Endorsements are standard practice in Anglo-Saxon journalism and while I understood what I was about to do might mean trouble, I was keen on making an endorsement. Publications are privileged animals and it is important for people to know where they actually stand. You can normally tell anyway. Story selection or the way news is interpreted differs from paper to paper — or, today, from screen to screen. But a publication on whatever technology without a daily editorial opinion is an empty vessel. It stands ...

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