Brics Media should be about the untold stories

Published 25 June 2017, by Riana Howe

The Brics Mainstream Media Forum in Shanghai culminated with the signing of a co-operation agreement between China’s Shanghai United Media Group and Russia’s Sputnik on Sunday.

Kochetkov Sergey, the first deputy editor-in-chief of Sputnik, signed the agreement with Shanghai United Media Group’s president Qui Xin.

Delegates from Brazil, India and South Africa, who also attended the forum, “Internet Era: The win-win co-operation of Media”, agreed to work towards greater Brics collaboration.

Dr Iqbal Surve, executive chairperson of Independent Media, said Brics Media should be about the untold stories.

“It’s about the narratives…and it’s going to become even more important as the world becomes more polarised, that the untold stories are told,” he said.

“Cooperation is absolutely critical,” Surve said.

“Until the lions tell their side of their story, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. So in this world where we are trying to make sure that as a Brics grouping, as developing nations, as nations that are aligned to progress, development, win-win co-operation, that we must tell begin to tell our stories.”

Watch the full video here:

Liz Morris named editor of Conde Nast House and Garden

Published 14 June 2017, by a staff writer. 

Liz Morris has been appointed as editor-in-chief of House and Garden, the Conde Nast Independent Magazine Division announced on Monday.

Morris takes over from the magazine’s present editor Leigh Robertson and her appointment is effective from August 1, 2017.

Michelle Fenwick, managing director of Conde Nast Independent Magazines, commented: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Liz back and look forward to working with her again. Liz returns to the magazine to an enhanced position whereby she will be responsible not only for maintaining the high quality of the editorial content but developing the brand across multi-media platforms and seeking out new commercial and marketing opportunities for CN House &Garden”.

“As a respected creator of content both during her time on the magazine and subsequently thereafter in a private capacity, Liz is most ably qualified to take on this role.”

Read the full article here.

Africans need to tell their own story

Published 09 June 2017, by Mphathi Nxumalo.

DURBAN – Changing the mindset of Africans was key in developing Africa, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday.

She was launching her coffee table book, titled African Union Commission which summarises her term as the African Union’s chairwoman from 2012 to 2017.

The launch was hosted by Independent Media at the Hilton Hotel in Durban on Friday.

Dlamini-Zuma who described herself as a “continental soldier” said people think the world donates to Africa but instead it’s Africa that donates to the world in terms of labour and resources. She said this mindset needs to change.

Dlamini-Zuma said this could change in a number of ways. One of them was to improve intra-Africa trade and it was important for the continent to industrialise, from infrastructure to energy.

“Africa is a dark continent in the sense that we don’t have enough energy. Currently, Africa is generating slightly more electricity than Spain and in Sub-Saharan Africa most of the electricity is in South Africa which is not enough,” she said.

There was also not enough investment in the continent despite the continent being endowed with resources.

“We have every mineral you can think of,” she said. The most precious resource is its people she said. The continent has more than a billion people that are still young. By 2025, 25% of youth will be in Africa.

“It’s only people that can create wealth,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

But for people to be able to work there needed to be an investment in their health and education. She noted that it should be both men and women.

Part of good health was food, and currently, 80% of processed food in Africa is imported and this should not be the case.

“We should be doing it here for ourselves,” she said explaining that this could bring in tens of billions of dollars and could do a lot for the development of the continent.

This was particularly important as “Africa is the only continent that has unused arable land,” she said.

“We need to modernise agriculture so that women can work the fields better and attract young people to agriculture,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

She said Africa had a story to tell, and the book was part of telling the African story.

One person who also encouraged in telling the African story is Sekunjalo Executive Chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé.

He said Dlamini should not be referred to as President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife but as a woman in her own right. He lauded her successful fight against smoking in restaurants and public places. Survé lauded her role as Home Affairs, Health and Foreign Affairs among other things.

Except for Independent Media, Survé said the media portrayed black people are corrupt, murky and incompetent. This was the narrative perpetuated by the likes of Nasionale Pers and Caxton group who were running a campaign to remove a democratically elected government, Survé said.

Survé said it was only Independent Media that was giving both sides of the story.

Read the full article here

Dr Iqbal Survé: BizNews and Alec Hogg purveyors of fake news

Published 09 June, by Independent Media

What Bell Pottinger is to the Guptas, Alec Hogg is to the agents of regime change in South Africa.

Hogg’s news website, BizNews, represents gutter journalism and he is a purveyor of fake news that is inaccurate, out of context and devoid of any real facts in his obsession to defame Dr Iqbal Survé, Executive Chairman of Independent Media and Sekunjalo Investment Group.

Hogg made it his life’s mission to discredit black business in South Africa, while turning a blind eye to the major indiscretions of his masters, which include Naspers.

The recent BizNews article, which is prefaced by an attention-grabbing headline and a misleading introduction by UK-based Jackie Cameron, suggests amongst others, that Survé used his influence and relationship with the ANC to gain government advertising support for Independent Media, which is apparently evidenced by Survé’s presence in several photographs with President Jacob Zuma.

Let’s separate fact from Hogg’s fiction.

Fact: Independent Media, along with other major print publishing companies in South Africa, has experienced an annual decline in government advertising. The decline was in line with government’s strategy to reduce advertising spend in print. SABC radio and television, on the other hand, showed a marked increase in government advertising spend.

Fact: As a South African business leader, Survé represents the country on various international platforms. He is the first chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Growth Companies (GGC) Advisory Board and Vice-chairman of the Global Agenda Council (GAC) for Emerging Multinationals. He is a participant member of the G20 meeting and serves on B20 Task Teams as well as the UNGA private sector forum. On the invitation of SA Presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, he has participated on many presidential advisory working groups and state visits. He was recently appointed Chair of the South African chapter of the BRICS Business Council. These are all high-profile, professional leadership positions similar to those enjoyed by other CEOs and chairmen of major corporations in South Africa which attract extensive publicity and often share a public platform with President Zuma. To suggest that Survé’s presence on platforms with President Zuma is an attempt to secure government’s favour, is scurrilous and a blatant untruth.

The article also suggests that Survé has a seemingly strained relationship with the Guptas while simultaneously enjoying a good relationship with them when he was seen to have attended the Gupta wedding in Sun City.

Fact: Survé attended the Gupta wedding, along with several other CEOs and captains of industry, including other media bosses such as Esmaré Weideman of Media24. So determined is Hogg to cast aspersions on Survé and to claim a close association between Survé and the Gupta family, that he blatantly does not refer to the presence of these CEOs at the wedding. It is fair to say that attending a wedding does not mean that you agree with the policies and business approach of the host.

Fact: The Guptas are in dispute with Dr Survé and Independent Media. This is a matter of public record. They have differences in their approach to business and these differences have resulted in the Guptas making public statements against Dr Survé and Independent Media. Far from the Guptas having any relationship with Dr Survé, the status quo is indeed one which has seen them in direct opposition to each other. Any attempt to suggest that there is a relationship between Survé and the Guptas, is inaccurate and tantamount to fake news.

Over the past three years, and since the acquisition of Independent Media by a Sekunjalo-led consortium, BizNews has consistently published articles about the company and several other successful black professionals and companies, while deliberately attempting to defame and discredit them. He has used lies, innuendo and defamation to fuel his onslaught against Independent Media, Dr Survé as well as the Sekunjalo Investment Group.

Hogg has relocated his business to the UK where it appears he is supporting an agenda focused on discrediting South Africa, the black business community and the ANC, while also undermining the sovereignty of the country and in particular, promoting regime change.

Whose interests is he serving? Is it not time for Hogg to reveal the real reason for relocating to the UK and to disclose who his backers are?

Please read the full article here.

 

How Apartheid system colluded with ‘journalists, spies and bankers’

Published 08 June 2017, by Mphathi Nxumalo.

DURBAN – Apartheid’s legacy is still affecting South Africa and the local media, a discussion held on the sidelines of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-Ifra) conference being held in Durban heard on Wednesday. The conference brings together journalists and media professionals from around the globe.

The discussion, hosted by the Press Club of South Africa focused around author Hennie van Vuuren’s book “Apartheid Guns and Money”, an exposé on the economic crimes of the apartheid regime.

Through the use of released secret documents, Van Vuuren details how the then government defended the system through the use of people like journalists, spies and bankers.

Van Vuuren and a small group of people worked on the book for five years. “It is a story about power,” he said.

Van Vuuren said a large amount of information on apartheid was available, even though the apartheid government had destroyed about 44 tons worth of documents. He said he was frustrated that South Africans were not telling more of these types of stories, including that media group Naspers had donated money to the National Party and was the “attack dog” of the National Party.

Dr Iqbal Surve, executive chairman of Sekunjalo, the owner of Independent Newspapers, said the book was well- researched and told the truth. “It is one of the seminal books in South African history.”

Surve said the dominant media groups in the country were completely embedded in the apartheid regime. The challenge lay in trying, to tell the truth while being faced by institutions that come from the apartheid era.

Surve said it should be noted that the apartheid regime stole R500 billion from South Africa, money that could have been used for the development of the country.

Investigative journalist Piet Rampedi said journalists were still contending with a culture of institutionalised racism in the newsroom.

“In the newsroom, you can see that black journalists are being discriminated against.The media has racialised crime and corruption… They presume black people are prone to corruption,” he said.

Rampedi said the media should acknowledge its apartheid past, as this would help the industry to improve.

Van Vuuren said the book was also a story about the private funding of political parties and how there is no law regulating this until today.

#WNC17: ‘The consumption of sports news has evolved’

Published 8 June, by Lee Rondganger

Durban – Building partnerships with major sporting brands and engaging communities using emerging and existing technologies were the key to influencing the future on how people consume sports news.

This was the major theme that emerged during a roundtable discussion on Sports News and Media Innovation at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) conference held in Durban on Wednesday.

The roundtable panel included Nicolas Henchoz, the director of EPFL+ECAL Lab in Switzerland, Jermaine Craig, group executive for sport and motoring at Independent Media, Rolf Dyrnes Svendsen, chairman of the advisory board of the Global Allied Media Innovation, Cormac Bourke, editor of the Sunday Independent in Ireland and Professor Andrew Perkis of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

In a world where newspaper circulation was dropping and readers were increasingly going to social media for news, Henchoz said there were opportunities for traditional media to partner with sporting organisations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to innovate and keep audiences whilst still generating revenue.

 For an example he said that YouTube’s income was ten times that of the IOC.

“This is really a huge challenge for international sporting organisations. Google and YouTube are just doing their job. Sporting organisations must work with the media together to influence the future… It is about us working together to innovate,” he said.

Read the full article here.

Transformation in media locally, globally ‘ too slow’

Published 7 June 2017, by Mphathi Nxumalo

THERE has been progress in women empowerment in the media but it is not enough. So said Tomas Brunegård, president of World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). The organisation represents more than 18 000 publications around the world.

Brunegård said it was not good enough globally either. “These gender-related issues are there and they need to be addressed.” He said this at WAN-IFRA dinner that was held last night in Durban.

This comes as a conference that brings journalists and media professionals from around the world kicks off today (WED) and will run until Friday, June 9. During the conference media professionals will discuss challenges, facing the media landscape. It will also look at solutions that could be used to solve the problems the industry faces.

One of the people who is finding solutions to problems being faced in the industry is a philanthropist and Sekunjalo Executive Chairman Dr Iqbal Survé.

He said Independent Media had provided solutions with its #RACISMSTOPSWITHME campaign. But there were still challenges that lay ahead though. One of these challenges was to tell an African narrative in a media landscape that is dominated by companies that are relics from the apartheid era like Nasionale Pers (Naspers).

The media in the country also needed to be transformed. “Media transformation in South Africa is very slow except in the case of Independent Media,” Survé said.

He said he believed Independent Media was a lone star with its rapid pace of transformation. Ownership in other media houses was relatively the same as it was during apartheid with senior management, editorial patterns and narrative not reflecting the story of a new country, embracing its aspirations and diversity. It only reflects the media people who existed in the apartheid era.

“We shouldn’t be surprised because firstly the majority of our competitors were rooted during apartheid. It is a fact that Naspers was founded by the National Party and the Broederbond. Times Media Group had their editor working for the security police. The Caxton Group was funded by the apartheid government,” Survé said. These companies remained prominent until today without a change of ownership and mindset of the past. He said there were many journalists and editors who tried to make a difference but they were regrettably few and far between.

Read the full article here.

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.

#DontLookAway … not just for 16 days

Published 01 June, by IOL.

Don’t Look Away! When IOL reports story after story about women and children being murdered or raped, we ask you to please Don’t Look Away.

Please acknowledge the life that has been cut short so abruptly or altered so brutally.

Please help women and children who experience violence to seek help.

Last December, Independent Media launched the Don’t Look Away campaign to run parallel to the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. Our campaign recently took second place at the International News Media Association Global Media Awards in New York for best use of video.

 Please read the full article here.

Honour for adults who fight for children’s rights

Published 29 May, by Nicola Daniels, IOL

The World’s Children’s Prize Foundation (WCPF) and The Survé Family Foundation brought the Swedish award ceremony honouring adults who fight for the rights of children to South Africa.

In an evening of music, dance and poetry at the Artscape Theatre, the Abatsha Children’s Band, who were trained through the South African WCPF programme, delivered a moving performance last night.

The band had performed at the award ceremony in Sweden in April and last night was an opportunity for them to share their talent with their families and honoured guests.

Since its launch in the year 2000, WCPF has worked with more than 40 million children across the world, educating them about their rights. More than five million South African children have also been learning through their programme.

This year’s award winners voted for by the children, included Molly Melching for the work she does in Senegal to stop female genital cutting, and Rosi Gollmann, who works to stop child labour and prevent girls from becoming sex slaves in India and Bangladesh.

The overall prize went to Manuel Rodriguez, who runs a school for disabled children in Guinea Bissau.

Mayor Patricia de Lille, who was an honorary guest for the evening, said: “What a heart-warming display of talent. The Bill of Rights, Section 28, says every child has the right to be cared for and protected. All children must be loved.”

Read the full article here.