traditional media

traditional media

  • SABC to Cut Jobs to Reduce Costs

    Job cuts are looming at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as the new board and CEO Solly Mokoetle, strive to slash costs and reduce the bloated head count of nearly four thousand employees.

    Meanwhile, the SABC is appealing to the Department of Communications and Parliament’s communications committee to help it get the auditor-general to undertake a comprehensive forensic audit to clean up the rot in the organisation because it cannot pay for such an audit itself.

    SABC deputy chairperson, Felleng Sekha, told the committee that a forensic audit is necessary to determine the extent of the ‘malfeasance’ within the public broadcaster.

    To read the article titled, “SABC to cut jobs in bid to reduce costs,” click here.
    Business Day
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  • Leading in the Digital Era & Reporting with New Media Tools

    Does your print story now require audio? Is your broadcast world moving into cyberspace? Get the skills you need to thrive in journalisms digital age. Here is a chance to learn to tell more powerful stories--and tell them online through multimedia tools. We will teach you the key skills, as well as how to navigate ethical pressure points in emerging platforms as a leader. Most importantly, we will explore how to change the way you think about storytelling and the role of independent journalism in the service of free societies. Explore the importance of natural sound and the ethics of editing. Plus, receive basic photo and photo-editing instruction designed to help you capture the images your multimedia reports need.

    Participants will learn:
    • How to edit photos for greater impact, using production tools like Soundslides to create Web presentations. Key multimedia skills, including audio, still photography and video
    • How to recognise and negotiate the ethical issues specific to multimedia
    • What it takes to survive and thrive in a constantly changing landscape
    • How and why you need to build your brand as a journalist
    • The leadership skills and knowledge you need to chart your own career path
    Contact Person: Mabatho Sekwala, or

    Closing date: 16 October 2009

    For more information on IAJ, click here.
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    Cape Town
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  • Cape Town Television Temporarily Off Air!

    Cape Town TV (CTV), the mother city’s own community television channel, has been forced to go off air temporarily. Cash flow problems have inhibited the station’s ability to pay its transmission costs, but the station’s management is confident that the situation will be resolved shortly, when the necessary funds have been raised.

    Explains CTV chairman Martin Jansen, “CTV has to pay normal commercial rates for its signal transmission to Sentech, the national signal distributor parastatal that falls under the Department of Communications. There are no reduced rates for community television and radio broadcasters, despite their non-profit status.

    “While community radio stations are subsidized by the Department of Communications, the DoC has not implemented this for community television. This means that CTV has to carry the entire cost of transmission, which is an onerous burden for an NGO – and especially for CTV as a new entrant into the media field.

    “Whilst community broadcasting is envisaged by government policy and legislation to play a developmental role that provides direct freedom of expression to the public, no provision is made by the state for its sustainability. Community television is left to survive in the competitive commercial market.

    “When a community TV channel such as CTV chooses to mainly represent the interests of the poorest and most disadvantaged sections of our community it is even less attractive to commercial advertising and sponsorship. It is imperative therefore that in order for the state to give real meaning to freedom of expression as contained in our country’s constitution, community broadcasting must be subsidized by the state in order for it to survive, remain true to its community purpose and not to fall prey to commercially driven interests.”

    CTV has been on air for just over a year now, and has just won a second one-year “temporary” community broadcast license from the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA). At present ICASA only issues temporary licenses to community television stations, mainly because of issues around frequency allocation, a situation that is exacerbated by the migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting.

    Says CTV Broadcast Manager Mike Aldridge, “The station needs R150 000 immediately to get back on air and in the longer term, R600 000 is needed to cover the transmission costs. CTV currently broadcasts from just one transmitter, located on Tygerberg mountain. Five transmitter sites are necessary to reach the whole of Cape Town, but there are currently no spare frequencies available on these sites. This, together with the heavy transmission costs, inhibits the channel from reaching everyone in Cape Town.”

    Adds CTV Programme Manager Shelley Barry, “CTV has been operating on very minimal resources and it is a tribute to the unceasing efforts of our dedicated staff that we have managed to bring Capetonians programming that is informative, entertaining and an alternative to the mainstream.”

    CTV is a registered non-profit organisation that was formed by over 100 NGOs in 2006. The channel broadcasts 24 hours a day and provides Capetonians with a variety of programmes such as documentaries, short films, music, spirituality and sport. The channel prides itself on providing an alternative to mainstream television, with challenging shows on issues such as human rights, animal anti-cruelty, environmental issues and progressive politics.


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    SOS Campaign
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  • ‘Under One Roof' Gender, Media and Democracy

    This training manual is a result of the Women's Media Watch Media monitoring and Media Literacy Project 'Under One Roof', which has been running for three years. It is a project which brings together media activists, media trainers and media producers and has been implemented by our Media Monitoring Group. South Africa is in a transitional phase from a repressive apartheid system to an egalitarian democratic one. Entrenched attitudes need to be challenged in order to uproot the old ways of thinking and doing, thereby paving the way for a non-discriminatory society. The media has the potential to play a meaningful role in this process by shifting the paradigm around who and what is newsworthy, and by reporting and entertaining in ways that recognise the diversity of the people of the country.

    For more information, click here.

  • Burger Comments on SABC Crisis, Broadband & Digital Migration

    Right now the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is hogging bandwidth about priorities for the new Minister of Communications, Siphiwe Nyanda. This is according to Professor Guy Burger.

    Burger is of the view that Nyanda should tell the Treasury whether he backs the broadcaster’s R2 billion bailout.

    He further states that, “But he'll also need to look at two other causes putting pressure on the public purse. These are: promoting broadband Internet, and dealing with digital migration.”

    Government support for internet roll-out is being championed by a coalition called the SA National Broadband Forum. Earlier this year they drew up a petition to go to Minister Nyanda. So far, they've amassed support from 1 601 individuals and 223 organisations.

    To read the article titled, Bail out SABC, build broadband or deliver on digital migration,” click here.

    <br /> Mail and Guardian
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  • Calls to Appoint New SABC Board

    The TV Industry Emergency Coalition (TVEC) has called on the government to immediately appoint a new ‘legally constituted (SABC) board’.

    In an open letter to the South African public issued after the removal of Kanyi Mkonza as board chairman by her colleagues, the coalition says the entire current board should step down to pave the way for parliament to appoint a new independent board.

    TVEC points out that, “It is not sufficient to merely shuffle the chairperson role among the incumbents. We call for the appointment of people committed to public service broadcasting, including representation from the independent TV production industry.”

    To read the article titled, “New SABC board needed,” click here.

    <br /> The Times
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  • The Freedom of impressions

    On Saturday, I attended a workshop at Constitutions Hill organised by Congo Renaissance (CoRe), a platform of Congolese living in South Africa in commemoration of the World Press Freedom happening the following day, Sunday 3rd of May.

    Worldwide the World Press Freedom day is considered as a day of action to encourage and develop initiatives in favor of the freedom of the press; a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to press freedom; and a day to alert the public and to increase awareness of the importance of freedom of the press.

    The workshop aimed at assessing the state of freedom of expression and other human rights in the DRC and Zimbabwe and discussions on how civil society organisations and media professional could better contribute to fostering these rights in Southern Africa.

    The continent of Africa has gone through good and worst scenarios. From a wide nationalist trend in the late 60s which leads to many African countries to independences; to states failure and dictatorship rise in 80s’ and 90s’. In the midst, major economic theories, financial adjustments and political re-structuring such as privatization, nationalisation, multipartism, national conferences have all been put to test. We have seen new leaders being put in place but still we can not justify or prove that citizens had expressed themselves freely and without any manipulation or intimidation.

    With the Republic of South Africa leading the pack, the Southern African region may seems to be the most “democratic” since countries within the region had gone through processes of democratic elections. In last 15 years Angola, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and weeks ago South Africa, had national elections. However, as African, I have noticed that governments in many African countries are involved in what one may call “democratie de façade” or “fake democracy”.

    It is a fact that in Africa even when elections have been declared free and fair by international observers, if one can investigate, there is always shocking founding showing that underground so called democratic policies and institutions, human rights and especially freedom of expression has been denied to citizens or a part of them.

    For me on the Africa political scene there is two sorts of actors (players). On one hand there are those who stand and say loud what they think, and on the other those who tells you what you want to hear or see on paper but they act for their selfish interests or that of a minority group.

    According to a Zimbabwean project lawyer, Media Defence Programme coordinator at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) Lloyd Kuveya, laws exist in the Southern region; however we are short falling on its implementation.
    Stressing on the situation in Zimbabwe, he says that this is mainly due to the fact that the institutions (courts) supposed to protect these rights are often weak, non independent, and biased.

    President Mugabe passes to be one of the most arrogant African head of state. Compared to the“quiet” and “democrat” Joseph Kabila president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the president of Zimbabwe has always spoken his mind at the extent to deny human right to those opposing his views.
    Kuveya provided the audience composed with journalists, students and activist with facts of violations of freedom of press by the arrogant Mugabe’s government in Zimbabwe where journalists have been put in jails, newspapers and websites closed down as well as the bias of public media for the regime in place.

    Commenting on the situation of press and media in DRC, Jose de Jesus, an independent journalist from the DRC living in Johannesburg said that “Kabila regime is an iceberg”. Kabila’s government has been painted as democratic since the country’s institutions are seemingly running smoothly he maintains. The government has claimed that it has put policy in place which recognising freedom of media. As result it is busting itself by the fact that the capital Kinshasa has more then 10 private independent journals and no less then 60 private TV channels broadcasting into the city.
    Yet, the reality says De Jesus is that journalists are not free to write and voice what they have found. Journalists are too scared to be put in jail and lose their businesses. He said that the consequence is that most private TV channels are focus only on entertainment and music in particular while the public broadcasting Radio Tele National Congolaise (RTNC) is of evident bias to the government.

    However, beside violation of freedom of press by governments in most African countries, a question of ethic journalistic is to be raised. With the international economic turmoil, media houses are facing huge challenges, a choice of either go for a public interest or pursue a market goal. In some case the market option is putting media houses in a position whereby their editorial lines privilege a profit making gain or maximizing on sponsor’s and shareholders’ value whereas the public interest option sets the service to the public as the center around which it revolves. Unfortunately many media houses hardly strike it right in this regards, especially in the DRC and Zimbabwe, write the President of CoRe Ciril Mutombo in (

    In conclusion, many attendants expressed their discouragement with mainstream press houses such as CNN, BBC, Africa N1, SABC, RTNC etc… and recognized the need for civil society organisations to find other venue of expression such as citizen journalism whereby citizen and community can take ownership of information.

    In this regards, concerns were raised at the workshop about limitations of such alternative community journalism taking in account that in countries such as DRC or Zimbabwe internet usage is at its very early age. Although my strong view on this is that as African we should stop putting out excuses instead looking for alternative solution and asking the right questions. For me the question should not be ‘how many have internet’ but instead ‘how many can be reached by the internet’. All over Africa there is a boom of cellular phone users for example, even in areas where there are not internet places. Therefore the development of social networking such Twitter and the use of web based bulk SMS are among solutions for Africans in order to become independent from main stream medias.
  • Communications Minister Dies

    The Presidency has announced that Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri has died of natural causes.

    “Matsepe-Casaburri, who hadn’t been well in the last couple of months, died at a Pretoria hospital. She was 71,” said spokesperson Thabo Masebe. Matsepe-Casaburri was admitted to the hospital about three weeks ago.

    Among other positions, Matsepe-Casaburri was the first woman to be appointed to the board of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the first black person and woman to become chairperson of Sentech and the first woman and black chairperson of the board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) from 1993 1997. She was also the first woman premier of the Free State from 1997 to 1999. In 1999 she became a Member of Parliament and Minister of Communications.

    To read the article titled, “Matsepe-Casaburri dies,” click here.
    <br /> Citizen
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  • Writing Opinion Pieces for Publications

    The Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) is conducting a two-day course on Writing Opinion Pieces for Publications from 23-24 March 2009 in Johannesburg.

    Learn to write an opinion piece that grabs readers and makes them want to read on, even if it’s not their topic. This 2-day workshop will show you how to lead your reader from point to point using anecdotes and evidence to reinforce your logical argument. Come along and acquire techniques that will move you away from that pedantic expression, into a lively style that respects tone.

    This course is for print as well as corporate journalists – and indeed anyone able to write reasonably, who wishes to get an opinion piece published

    Course Outcomes
    • Understand what is newsworthy, then choose an angle to take a stance
    • Write logically giving supporting evidence
    • Position yourself to challenge opinions where necessary
    • Explore an area of reality in a balanced manner
    • Use newspaper style to jab, hit, get the point across
    • Research evidence to substantiate your statements
    • Edit and tighten so that your writing flows
    • Know how to submit your op ed for publication

    Dates: 23-24 March 2009
    Tel: 011 484 1765
    Fax: 011 484 2282

    For more on IAJ, click here.

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