Slice of Life: ‘We’re told to be cold’

I was working on a story on male corrective rape and, during that time, I had this recurring dream. In the dream I was in a taxi by myself. I’d see the taxi driver looking at me weirdly. I’d stare out the window and see other taxi drivers. It was scary because, if I opened the taxi door, they would come in. But if I stayed in that taxi, I would also be raped. Either way, I was fucked.

I’ve never really spoken to anybody about this, especially at the time I was writing the story, because you don’t want to seem overly affected by things. Especially as a journalist, I just felt as though saying I was affected by it would undermine what I was trying to expose.

Once I saw this lifeless woman on a pavement. This man had bludgeoned her to death and her brains were, like, oozing out into the drain. I remember the response from my editors. How, you know, “you’re being emotional about it”.

I think that has always stuck with me — not to show that I am affected by these stories because the newsroom [has] a culture that has filtered down through all these decades — that you kind of need to be cold under the guise of being “objective”. It’s a terrible culture because we do stories to expose social ills. And how do you really change things if that kind of culture filters through to the newsroom, dictating the way you work? It makes what you are trying to do as a journalist kind of superficial, I think. — Angelo Louw, 31, as told to Carl Collison, the Other Foundation’s Rainbow Fellow at the M&G

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Carl Collison
Carl Collison
Carl Collison is a freelance journalist who focuses primarily on covering queer-related issues across Africa

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Route closure may be extended as talks between Western Cape...

The reopening of Route B97 without an agreement may result in a flood of illegal taxi operators and reignite taxi violence

Red tape is strangling small businesses

People in countries such as Brazil, India and China are two to three times more likely to be entrepreneurs than South Africans.

Can Panyaza Lesufi save the ANC in Gauteng come 2024?

With the Gauteng provincial conference around the corner, West Rand regional secretary Sanele Ngweventsha argues that Lesufi might give them the edge in 2024.

Osaka ready to boycott Wimbledon over ranking points row

The ATP and WTA tours last week removed ranking points from Wimbledon after the All England Club banned Russian and Belarusian players.
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×