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One of the first lessons journalism students were taught in my day was that there is no such thing as objectivity. It was all designed to shock the starry-eyed youngsters out of their naive belief that they were going to change the world simply by telling the truth. The problem with telling the truth in an age of fake news is that it's increasingly complicated to extract. Information nowadays moves at the speed of data. Once information is in the public domain, it's very difficult to re-establish the facts, although not impossible, as shown recently by MiWay, which found itself at the sharp end of manipulated public opinion. Social media has created an environment in which vested interests can flourish. It's nothing short of ironic, therefore, that Bell Pottinger, which until very recently dictated much of the news agenda in South Africa, is now a pariah. This week the company publicly disclosed the genesis of its business relationship with the Guptas. It's only doing so because cli...

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