Africa’s Warmest Welcome

Published 14 June 2017, by Bheki Mbanjwa.

South Africa has fared very poorly in terms of transfor­mation of the media and the government needs to investigate the role played by media monopolies in blocking the role of new entrants in the sector, the executive chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé, has said.

Speaking ahead of the Wan-Ifra board of directors’ dinner hosted by Sekunjalo last night, Survé said, except in the case of Independent Media, “regrettably the (media) ownership pattern remains largely as it was under apartheid”.

“There should be far more black people in media, far more diversity of journalists and editors, there should be more focus on the narrative that is not negative about black people.

“It’s a long journey but I think the government needs to investigate the monopolies that exist in the media sector and the impact that these monopolies have in preventing black entrepreneurs from coming into the media sector,” he said.

The dinner was held ahead of the start of the 69th World News Media Congress and the 24th World Editors’ Forum, being held at the Durban ICC from today until Friday. More than 700 delegates, including publishers and editors from around the world, are expected to attend.

 The event is being hosted by Wan-Ifra, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

President of Wan-Ifra, Tomas Brunegård, who also spoke to The Mercury before the dinner, said the main aim of the congress was to promote press freedom and to provide a platform for media professionals, to be part of a network through which they can share best practices. One of the issues that would be discussed was that of women in the media.

Brunegård said while there had been progress in terms of women in the media, there was much that still needed to be done. “It is not good enough globally. These gender-related issues are there and they need to be addressed,” he said.

Read the full article here.

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