With three local TV news channels to choose from, we should be able to find comprehensive, well-presented information. Sadly, has news for you
the rest of Africa will identify with and watch. Its ratings depend on it. It’s the same reason SABC News dumped all other South African languages and stuck with English. It will be interesting to see how it will justify rolling local election coverage, done in only one language, of an event that the bulk of its newly added audience doesn’t care to see. Infinity Media’s so-called Gupta-news ANN7 (DStv channel 405) might well not still be around come election time, although its SA Decides programming strand, purportedly representing people’s views in an unbiased way with hilariously bad production values, is back for a second season.
ANN7’s continual on-air mistakes and bad production values – sound problems, a carousel of changing presenter faces and bad newsreading skills – had a further setback in late March. People laughed and the ANC got angry at ANN7’s eye-rolling reports about an “alleged plot” to topple President Jacob Zuma – at the same time as alleged state capture by the Gupta family dominated headlines. ANN7 apologised for the bad reporting, saying it had “erred”.
With three TV news channels, South Africans might think they’re well covered. The reality, however, is a bit closer to the words of the American journalist Eric Sevareid who said: “The bigger the information media, the less courage and freedom they allow.”