Notes from a Fractured Country
On mindless writing, post-apartheid South Africa, and the stories that fly under the radar
I’ve written a lot of mindless articles lately. The subject matter is sometimes interesting, but the writing is, well, meh. When I first began working as a writer and journalist, I never wrote anything that didn’t hold my full interest. I was also unable to make a decent living doing that.
By now, it’s an old story in journalism. You have to sell out to make a decent living. Maybe you get a job at a mainstream newspaper with questionable editorial lines. Or you go it alone, but that invariably means writing mindless articles and fluff pieces to make ends meet. As you get older and the responsibilities pile up, it gets harder to rekindle the passion, especially if you don’t have a financial safety net.
I’ve been thinking that a newsletter might be one way to break this pattern and serve as an outlet for the writing I’m genuinely passionate about creating. Could this be a space free from the questionable editorial lines and sensitivities that I’ve negotiated for the past couple of years? We’ll see.
Since moving to Cape Town in 2018 after a decade in the Middle East, I’ve come across countless stories and ideas that give me pause and pull at my journalist instincts. I haven’t done much with this material – until now.
My goal is a weekly dispatch from Cape Town focused on a story that speaks to a broader global narrative. Given my interest in Israel/Palestine, expect to see a couple of dispatches on the endurance of economic apartheid in democratic South Africa. That’s a specific topic, but it’s a critically overlooked issue for global audiences.
Think of this newsletter as a weekly column. It won’t all be heavy material, but it will be thoughtful (and hopefully enjoyable). I’m excited to start this journey with you.
Sign up now so you don’t miss the first issue.
In the meantime, tell your friends!