Media

The State of Affairs at the SABC

The SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition is deeply concerned by the current state of affairs at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The coalition notes with disappointed its failed attempts to meet the SABC GCEO, Lulama Mokhobo. This significant meeting (as noted by Mokhobo’s personal assistant) has been rescheduled three times.

SABC: Violence Exposed, Ethics Ignored

Last night the South African Broadcasting Authority (SABC) showed news reports across its channels about police brutality which occurred during a “service delivery” protest in Ficksburg in the Free State. The manner in which it was covered by SABC’s different television services raises number of key issues.

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) welcomes the decision by SABC to give such prominence and attention to the death of a citizen following an incident of police brutality. Nevertheless MMA is concerned about discrepancies in how the story was reported.

Digital Migration Deadline Extended to 2013

The Department of Communications (DoC) says South Africa will complete the process of migrating from analogue to digital television by December 2013.

Communications Minister, Roy Padayachie, also announced that the country will adopt the DVB-T2 standard for the process of digital migration.

Padayachie says the country’s 2013 deadline for switching off the analogue signal is in keeping with a global decision to switch off the signal by 2015.

SANEF Protests the Arrest of Journos

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) has added its voice to those condemning police for arresting two journalists while they were carrying out normal reporting duties.

In a press statement, SANEF points out that, "Even more alarming was the police confiscation of the journalists' cellphones and other equipment which was handed back only after the intervention of a lawyer."

Parliament to Fill SABC Vacancies – Kholwane

Parliament is moving ahead to fill the four vacancies on the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) board, with its communications committee due to meet next week to draw up a shortlist of candidates.

Communications committee chairperson, Eric Kholwane, states that should another member resigns in the interim, the board could be left without the necessary quorum to take decisions.

SANEF Shocked at Zuma’s Zapiro Lawsuit

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) says it is shocked by President Jacob Zuma's decision to sue Avusa Media for R5 million for Zapiro's Lady Justice rape cartoon.

SANEF says it is surprising that the president waited more than two years before instituting his complaint on the grounds that in one instance he had been humiliated and degraded by the cartoon and in another instance that his reputation had been damaged.

Jordan Criticises ANC Over Secrecy Bill

African National Congress (ANC) veteran, Pallo Jordan, has sharply criticised the party’s plans for a media tribunal and the Protection of Information Bill, saying attempts to muzzle the modern media are a ‘fool’s errand’.

Jordan warns that the party is backing itself into a ‘lose-lose situation’, and it risks losing its credibility as a campaigner for media freedom, and the Bill possibly failing a mooted constitutional challenge.

Minister Withdraws the Broadcasting Bill

According to a report by Technology website, TechCentral, communications minister, Roy Padayachie, has withdrawn the controversial Public Service Broadcasting Bill which among other things, proposed a one percent tax to fund the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

The website reports Padayachie as saying that he is convinced much more can yet be gained by engaging in further work before a bill is presented to cabinet.

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