First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

James Murdoch survives to lie another day



James Murdoch survives to lie another day

According to, well, himself, James Murdoch heard no evil, saw no evil, et cetera when it came to the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Which begs the question: did the heir to the Murdoch empire speak no evil when he appeared before Parliament back in June? Apparently not, at least in Murdoch's version, in which he's chosen to cast himself as incompetent, rather than malevolent. By THERESA MALLINSON.

In fairness, playing the ignorance card – and thereby admitting his own incompetence – was the only option left to James Murdoch at this stage. Murdoch denied all knowledge of just about everything, while making sure to include enough truth in his statements to invoke the plausible-deniability defence.

So, while Murdoch admits that he was told about the now-infamous “for Neville” email – which contained evidence that phone-hacking was a widespread practice at the newspaper, and not the work of a single “rogue reporter” as previously claimed – he denies that he actually read it. Or, as film-maker Chris Atkins put it in a tongue-in-cheek tweet: “GENIUS: Murdoch denies reading report, instead claims he ‘looked at the words’.”

According to Murdoch, he did not mislead Parliament during his previous testimony in June. But the conflicting evidence around what Murdoch did and did not know regarding phone-hacking practices at News of the World (not to mention the context behind the six-figure out-of-court settlement paid to Professional Footballers Association chief Gordon Taylor) suggests that somebody has. Murdoch has conveniently dumped the blame on former News of the World editor Colin Myler and lawyer Tom Crone. We’re eagerly awaiting their comebacks.

Murdoch somehow managed to survive his grilling by the committee, even belligerent Labour MP Tom Watson’s comparison of him to a mafia boss. But his ultimate survival seems increasingly unlikely. In the worst-case scenario Murdoch is an outright liar; in the best-case scenario he’s a bumbling incompetent. Whichever version turns out to be true (and we have our suspicions it’s the former), it makes Murdoch unfit to head up a global company. DM



Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted