#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.