uSpiked is a Cape Town based boutique media operation that employs Investigative, Explanatory and Advocacy journalism to empower the public, spark action and protect rights. Our main motivation is to give voices to the voiceless. We find facts (hidden or otherwise), connect and explain the dots and amplify our findings until someone listens and acts.
Governmental censorship is bad for the news media and the public. But we consider self-censorship the biggest threat that continues to fuel public distrust in news organisations and journalists. First and foremost, we as journalists are part of that public.
Many important stories that impact our lives are ‘spiked’ (trashed) in newsrooms for various reasons. Journalists, in cahoots with their news managers, have become the gatekeepers of information. We, sometimes unintentionally, decide what the public should know and when. That is self-censorship. We evoke ‘public interest’ while sourcing for information, but are quick to abandon the same public when the information obtained does not suit our narrative.
Why should information that is obtained by journalists in the name of the public be turned into personal properties of editors, managers and media owners?
Our mission is to make important information accessible to as many people as possible so that they can make better, informed decisions.
We stand by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
We approach issues without fear or favour and are guided by the following simple motto every time: if it is true and it is in the public’s interest, it is in uSpiked’s interest. At uSpiked no amount of intimidation can stop us. It may take longer to connect all the dots, but we are deeply committed and invested in publishing stories that matter — stories others would prefer to remain buried.
Anne Lamott couldn’t have put it any better: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”