Comparing Joburg with Cape Town used to be a staple of the sort of columnists who thrived on setting up provocative juxtapositions to the detriment of whichever city wasn’t the one they lived in. Cue outbursts of angry, defensive letters to the editor (which is what tweets used to be called, when you had to put a bit of effort into penning your thoughts), and plenty of follow-up columns from those eager to add to the pile-on. 

Thankfully, with the way audiences have become so variegated on platforms, it’s not as easy to do any more. Say what you will about the internet and social media, at least it’s forced people to think a little harder about who they’re actually talking to. And, as importantly, it’s made media publications way more conscious of the fact that their audiences aren’t necessarily a reflection of the people producing the content, unless it’s one of those crazy funhouse mirrors. ..

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