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Media-regulation glee club has a new hit show

In the wake of the massive phone-hacking scandal playing out in Britain, its prime minister, David Cameron, has called for the scrapping of media self-regulation and for stronger press regulation by government. And, locally, the African National Congress (ANC) is bound to point to events in London as further proof that the press need to be taken in hand so that what they publish be regulated further.

By Herman Manson 11 Jul 2011 14:25

News of the World's end of the road: lessons for SA media?

Can South Africa's newsrooms, its regulation watchdog the Press Council of South Africa and its brand new Press Freedom Commission (PFC) learn some valuable lessons from British Sunday tabloid News of the World's 'shameful' end of the road amid allegations of phone hacking?

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 11 Jul 2011 12:50

What's so special about the Press Freedom Commission?

A new star, the Press Freedom Commission (PFC), has appeared in the emotionally charged galaxy of the South African print media, where ethics are sometimes flouted in the name of freedom of expression and critical journalists are held at gunpoint by a ruling party that believes that self-regulation is 'toothless' and not working.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 11 Jul 2011 09:48

Nicholson's contract shouldn't have been renewed - Eric Kholwane

If the SABC board had renewed Robin Nicholson's contract as acting CEO, it would have been called to Parliament to explain why it did that, chairperson of the parliamentary committee on communications Eric Kholwane (ANC MP) said on Wednesday, 6 July 2011, speaking at the SOS Coalition meeting hosted in Johannesburg to discuss the latest SABC flare-ups.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 7 Jul 2011 11:59

SABC to retrench 800 employees - unions

The SABC intends to lay off between 700 and 800 employees over a two-year period, according to a letter sent recently to the unions. A copy of the letter, now in possession of, states about 500-600 employees will need to be reduced during the financial year 2011-2012, and the balance during the financial year 2012-2013.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 7 Jul 2011 10:09

Alan Knott-Craig Jnr builds an app business

Have you ever seen a Parrot AR.Drone? Alan Knott-Craig Jnr has one and he is happy to show it off, having it lift off as soon as we step into the still-deserted offices (one of three in Stellenbosch) of World of Avatar, his new mobile and media business venture. The Parrot AR.Drone is a toy quadricopter controlled via an iPhone, thanks to its on-board Wi-Fi system.

By Herman Manson 7 Jul 2011 09:47

There's still a place for print

It's rare to see the words 'future' and 'print' in the same sentence when considering advertising's prospects. But despite the rise of digital ad channels and the forecasted decline in print adspend, there's still a vital place for print and it shouldn't be written off just yet.

By Angela Adamson 6 Jul 2011 14:34

Fast forward into the golden - digital - age of journalism

As that dumb bird, the ex-beauty queen, prattled on vacuously on Saturday, 2 July 2011, on SABC's Monaco-wedding special, I turned to Twitter. When 140-character missives become the most compelling content you can get on a live event, it not only says a lot about the SABC's total cluelessness but also tells us how fast our media habits are changing - and how easily we take to new technologies.

By Gill Moodie 6 Jul 2011 10:24

SABC to get rid of over 55-year-old employees?

Crisis-hit and cash-strapped SABC wants to get rid of all employees who are over 55 years of age by offering them early retirement packages as part of its much-publicised turnaround strategy, a reliable source told on Monday, 4 July 2011.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 5 Jul 2011 12:35

Impact assessment of a ban on alcohol advertising

Here are some results from a preliminary impact assessment on the proposed ban on alcohol advertising in South Africa.

By Chris Moerdyk 5 Jul 2011 10:54

Social media, popular revolt: cure against African dictators?

The events and developments of the past six months in Africa have demonstrated that the rise of social media has not only revolutionised the business environment, but also redefined the political scene by shaking the foundation of dictatorship, lack of service delivery and corruption for the first time since the dawn of independences.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 5 Jul 2011 10:14

Family, colleagues bid farewell to Anton Hammerl

Nearly three months after he was shot by Libyan government troops near Brega, a ceremony in Johannesburg remembered photographer Anton Hammerl and reflected on his life and work - and his quest to tell the truth about conflict, despite the dangers.

By Phillip de Wet 4 Jul 2011 10:13

SABC sails into troubled waters - again

The SABC is once again sailing deep into troubled waters - a repeat show that threatens to compromise its fragile stability. As board member Peter Harris abruptly resigns and director of news Phil Molefe 'controversially' replaces Robin Nicholson as acting CEO, the media is bracing itself once again for episodes of court battles, more political interference, more resignations of board members and huge payouts.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 4 Jul 2011 09:39

Mainstream media platforms are communities, too...

I was reading Chris Moerdyk's take on South African media and, while he has a point on the substance or courage issue, I'd suggest that the mainstream media could learn some valuable lessons from the much-maligned business-to-business (B2B) or trade media.

By Angelo Coppola 30 Jun 2011 15:03

Does SA media lack substance or just courage?

When foreign media such as the Christian Science Monitor suggest that South Africa's news media lacks substance, I don't for a minute believe that "substance" is the right word to use. The word we are looking for is "courage."

By Chris Moerdyk 30 Jun 2011 11:18

Koos Bekker on Media24's future and how it fixed last year's 'bloody mess'

Media24 has been much in the news lately, what with various rounds of restructuring and retrenching. So a tumultuous time for the media company and that's not even the half of it, as it has also weathered the very troubled installation of a new IT system that governs its distribution and subscription systems. Koos Bekker, CEO of Media24's parent company, the global giant Naspers, tells Bizcommunity why the new system was a "bloody mess", how they've remedied the situation and why the company sees the tablet as a total game-changer. [poll]

By Gill Moodie 29 Jun 2011 13:05

Andy Davis digs up the underground with Mahala

Andy Davis's name may forever be associated with the defunct student magazine SL. It really shouldn't be. The not terribly rebellious and long-dead youth magazine, which he used to edit in the early part of the previous decade, has been properly usurped by the creation of Davis's own publication - the youth-orientated Mahala magazine and website.

By Herman Manson 29 Jun 2011 11:05

From print to mobile, this conversation screams Laduuuuuuma!

Soccer Laduma is the biggest-selling sports publication in the country, as well as the biggest-selling male interest publication. It's also the second biggest-selling weekly paper and the third biggest-selling newspaper in South Africa (after the Daily Sun and the Sunday Times). Not too shabby for a publication as niche in its content as Soccer Laduma.

By Herman Manson 28 Jun 2011 13:22

Manyi a disaster, bring back Themba Maseko - Jane Duncan

If there is going to be long-lasting peace between the South African government and the media, the government needs a new spokesperson; Jimmy Manyi has been a disaster since day one and really needs to be replaced, Rhodes University media professor Jane Duncan told on Sunday, 26 June 2011. "Come back Themba Maseko, all is forgiven!" Duncan urged.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 27 Jun 2011 10:35

African people disillusioned with leadership - Moeletsi Mbeki

"African people - like me - are completely disillusioned with the performance of their leaders because of what they have done and what they are doing, and for me these people should not be called leaders, but rather the elite," Moeletsi Mbeki, brother of former South African president Thabo Mbeki and chairman of the SA Institute of International Affairs, said, speaking at the CNN-MultiChoice media forum currently taking place in Bryanston, Johannesburg, on Friday, 24 June 2011.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 24 Jun 2011 11:56

The problem isn't just Manyi but the media as well

The relationship between government and the media in South Africa is undeniably at a 17-year low. The acrimonious scrap between cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi and the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) bears testimony to just how low this relationship is right now.

By Chris Moerdyk 23 Jun 2011 14:47

The silence of the SA media owners

There's a voice missing in the current debate over government advertising spend - the newspaper owners' old boys' club, Print Media South Africa. Representing more than 700 titles, including the Big Four major publishers, it's the Big Kahuna of the media landscape. It is, to be frank, the real media cartel for which Jimmy Manyi has been searching.

By Chris Vick 23 Jun 2011 13:55

Govt, SANEF to meet Friday to ease tensions, mend relations

Collins Chabane, minister in the presidency responsible for performance monitoring and evaluation, will meet with SANEF tomorrow, Friday 24 June 2011, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the Presidency confirmed yesterday. The meeting, which is set to negotiate a truce between the two 'sworn enemies', was requested by SANEF after controversial Government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi further 'provoked' the media.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 23 Jun 2011 13:16

Manyi barking up the wrong tree with 'threats' of withholding adspend

Tell the same lie over and over maybe people will start believing it - that's the government's big gambit. And look no further than 702 Talk Radio's interview this week with Jimmy Manyi, the government's new communications tzar, for evidence of this cheap chicanery.

By Gill Moodie 22 Jun 2011 15:39

New Media wins Vodacom, adapts strategy for digital world

Firms such as New Media (formerly New Media Publishing) have always positioned themselves as the meeting point between content and marketing. Now they are moving away from pulp and ink (though it remains a large and profitable chunk of the business) towards multiple platforms including mobile, the web and tablets.

By Herman Manson 20 Jun 2011 13:44

Newspaper columnists allowed wide degree of latitude - expert

Newspaper columnists in South Africa have been allowed a wide degree of latitude, a mentality inherited from the age-old British convention that has elevated them to the status of 'gods', Lesley Cowling, senior lecturer at Wits University's School of Journalism, told a media forum last week in Johannesburg, as the debate about the 'shocking' columns of David Bullard, Kuli Roberts and Jon Qwelane resurfaces in the media corridors.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 20 Jun 2011 12:52

Climate change journalism: govts, media urged to collaborate to 'save' the world

The Climate Change Media Partnership (CCMP) - an initiative of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Internews and Panos - last week launched a policy briefing paper that urges governments in developing countries to build strong relationships with the media to fight climate change, instead of just 'using' the media as a 'public outreach' channel for promoting their own messages.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 20 Jun 2011 12:23

Mixed reactions over controversial Sunday Times report

The controversial Sunday Times Review Panel's full report - withheld and hidden from the public view for a long time but brought to light by freelance journalist Michelle Solomon and finally published this week by Business Day - has been met with mixed reactions from media analysts and politicians.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 17 Jun 2011 11:55

First Brkic's iMaverick, now Media24 to launch new news magazine

Media luvvies sat up and took notice last week when the news came that Daily Maverick founder Branko Brkic is launching the country's first-ever iPad-only daily newspaper in August 2011. If Brkic's plots and plans are an indication that local journalism is heading boldy off into completely new waters, there's another interesting new product coming our way: a weekly news magazine from Media24.

By Gill Moodie 14 Jun 2011 14:05

Mobile ecosystem in 'trouble', glory days over - Michael de Souza

The global mobile ecosystem's glory days are over, as the industry currently faces challenges ranging from fickle customers (little sense of loyalty) to price competition, high churn (especially in prepaid), and losing influence and power in customer relationship, among others. This emerged at the BuzzCity mobile web seminar held today, Tuesday, 14 June 2011, in Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.

By Issa Sikiti da Silva 14 Jun 2011 13:01

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