Just over one year ago, in early August 2017, Daily Maverick hosted the inaugural Media Edition of The Gathering. Heavy Chef has been a close supporter of DM’s ‘Gatherings’ since they came out around eight years ago. These things seem to garner more drama than a parliamentary hearing with both Juju and JZ in attendance. Heck, the good people at BLF even tried to crash the gig last year.
In anticipation of the second Media Gathering, happening on Wednesday 15th August, Heavy Chef chatted to Styli Charalambous, the MD of DM* about the upcoming event.
*See what I did there?
"Despite playing a massive role in changing South Africa's prospects, the news media continues to face an existential crisis,” says Styli - which is pronounced 'steely', by the way.
Charalambous continues: “This event brings to together players from politics, media and business to showcase just how far reaching the consequences can be. We also interview the GuptaLeaks whistleblowers and share their struggles and what it's like to give up everything. We go beyond the soundbite on issues that matter."
The mood last year was one of defiance and commitment to truth.
In the following months, the country saw massive change in South Africa, and the news media was an integral part of that incredible process.
“We’d like to invite to you to join us, as we look back at 12 tumultuous months and how, while so much has undeniably changed for the better, we are still in the midst of the greatest existential crisis in news media’s history.”
Charalambous continues, with a glint of steely** purpose in his voice: “And that is why we are ‘Gathering’ again - because it matters.”
**See? See what I did?
“We hope by now you have got used to The Gathering conferences’ incredible speaker line-ups. Headlining events is an interview with the Guptaleaks whistleblowers."
Sorry. Did you say the frikken Guptaleaps whistleblowers?
Styli is a little cagey about this last factoid. It appears we’re not going to have them actually on stage, seemingly to avoid Ajay’s heavies storming the stage with a polonium spray-gun. More than likely, they’ll be prerecorded, with one of those back-lighting, silhouette vibes to avoid these guys being detected.
"Yes exactly," Styli clarifies. "For their safety, the whistleblowers will be pre-recorded and their identities masked.”
Styli says that DM are still adding more speakers in the run-up to the day but confirmed so far are:
- Patricia de Lille (Mayor, City of Cape Town)
- Mahlatse Mahlase (Chairperson, SANEF)
- Stefaans Brummer (Editor: amaBhungane)
- Lindiwe Mazibuko (Former Parliamentary Head, DA)
- Mondli Makhanya (Editor: City Press)
- Bongani Siqoko (Editor: Sunday Times)
- Adriaan Basson (Editor: News24)
- Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (National Spokesperson, EFF)
- Phumzile van Damme (MP, DA)
- Zapiro (Daily Maverick cartoonist)
- Steven Nathan, (CEO: 10X Investments)
- Mzwanele Manyi (Chairman: Afrotone Media Holdings)
- Ferial Haffajee (Associate Editor: Huffington Post SA)
- Richard Poplak (Editor @Large: Daily Maverick)
- Marianne Thamm (Assistant Editor: Daily Maverick)
- Stephen Grootes (SAFM Morning Host and Senior Analyst: Daily Maverick)
There is also going to be a special address by Rana Ayyub, an investigative reporter from India. Rana's is a story of one female journalist’s undercover sting operation that helped expose those involved in India’s epoch-defining 2002 Gujarat massacres, and the subsequent war for truth that pitted her against the country’s most powerful man – Prime Minister Narendra Modi – and his vast army of backers and trolls. It will blow your mind.
And if that’s not enough, the MC for the day is going to be the side-bustingly funny John Vlismas.
Go grab your tickets now.
Find out more, here: www.dmgathering.co.za