Last week Friday a popular local publication published and sold out its Friday issue with pornographic images headlining its first page. I ask this question, have we become so disillusioned with images of people having sex that it is ok to have them on the front page and center in our newspapers? I certainly think not. There are three levels of blame to be taken into consideration in this sad turn of events. The levels of blame go as follows; the Publication that developed and printed the pictures on its front page, the vendors whether it be the shops or tuckshops who sold the publications work, and the consumers/buyers of the publication.┬á I exclude the participants of the infamous sex tape, who have surely been made aware of the fact that sex tapes aren’t always the smartest things to make with their arrest and release and public ridicule.
Firstly the blame lies on the publication who developed and printed the article. As a citizen, I personally feel that the media in all its forms (print, radio, television) are society’s eyes, ears and mouth. The media is our source of truth and information in all aspects of our lives. It would have been welcome for the Publication house to run a story spinning their own angle which they deemed would be informative the most informing the public of the trending sex tape. However things took a turn for the worst when in addition to running a story, they proceeded to print large photos of the stars of the said porno in the most compromising of situations butt naked and partaking in the act of fornication. My first questions were who ok’d the front page, who’s the editor? Who sat there and screen munched these photos for the front page? How did this become ok, how did it even go for print nonetheless get distributed to vendors? Last I recall THE SALE AND DISTRIBUTION OF PORN IS ILLEGAL in Botswana. How is it that the participants got arrested yet, the sellers and distributors of pictures of the said porno disguised as news are still walking free with hefty pockets filled with money from their sold out newspaper? Has justice been served? Where is our media regulatory body, where is the law?
Secondly the blame lies on the vendors who sold newspaper that had front page seats to the porn you may not have even wanted to see. I asked myself how on earth did the vendors even accept such a newspaper with such vivid images of sex on the front page into their stores and tuckshops to sell to the public. Where is their accountability? Because one thing we all seem to have forgotten is that vendors sell to everyone from kids to adults. Some of you may say that some of the kids and adults saw it on their smartphones or on social media, but my question is how about those who aren’t on social media or who don’t have smart phones or those who ignored the tape, should they be subjected to see such images when all they want to do is buy a newspaper? In all shops, the papers are nicely lined up side by side and you choose the one you want, so even if you didn’t want to buy said newspaper if your eye just happened to glance over at the other publications your eyes would never be able to unsee the images. Should we now fear going to the grocery store or the tuckshop to buy a paper because of this? What kind of message are our vendors sending to us the consumers by selling such newspapers with such racy front pages? It is not okay in under any circumstances for porn to be this easily available, especially on the front page of a newspaper.
Lastly the blame lies within the consumer. When I heard that the paper was completely sold out I was dumbfounded. A chain of thoughts immediately went through my mind, like seeing the paper and thinking ‘wow,’ I have to buy this, taking it to the till and pulling out money and taking it home or to work to read. How in that whole process did the possible ramifications of the purchase of such a paper not cross the consumers mind? By buying the paper people were saying that it is ok to print porn on the front page, and that it would be welcome to print even racier images maybe even not blurred out next time. What message are we sending to the younger generation? That it is normal to see porn on the front page and that’s even ok to buy it? Shame on the consumer.
There will always be sex tapes or racy images going around on social media. How do we trust our media not to print the coming tapes or images if to print the current sex tape images is ok in their books? How are we to trust our vendors to sell us newspapers that wont damage our eyes by selling such? How do we ask for better reporting and ask for accountability, when we the consumers buy the papers we are ‘so’ shocked and appalled by?┬á We all need to take accountability and hope that this never repeats itself for our sake as a people. Newspapers to me are a place I get my information, not where I get my fix of porn.