TS News - SABC May Launch News Channel

TELE-satellit News, 29 October 1997

SABC May Launch News Channel
  JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 97/10/29 (SatND) -- South African
Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) officials said the broadcaster would move
into Africa and beyond as a major supplier of news. New satellites such as
a PanAmSat to be launched next year make it possible.

  SABC television head Alistair Sparks was quoted as saying he believed
that a genuine gap existed in Africa for a news broadcaster, both to Africa
and the world. Sparks said he believed that a wealth of positive stories
went untold in Africa owing to what he described as "parachute reporting".
Aptly put.

  Every time something nasty happens, an armada of foreign journalists
heads for the trouble spot, report the bloodshed and upheaval of a
revolution or whatever, and then disappear once the rest of the world has
had enough. There probably is no ongoing coverage of African issues on most
channels (and that applies to certain other regions of the world as well.)

  According to Africa News Online, the SABC has already closed down bureaux
in Washington and London to free funding to expand news-gathering interests
in Africa. SABC CEO Zwelakhe Sisulu supported Sparks' plans, saying that
M-Net's success in Africa proved that expansion further north was
economically viable. In South Africa, the SABC is expected to become
profitable by March next year, following the implementation of
recommendations made by the management consultants of McKinsey and
introducing more entertaining programmes. A problem that might hamper
further expansion, according to SABC officials, is that many other African
countries were reluctant to carry democratic-style reporting in any form.

  By: Peter Klanowski
  Source: SatND
(c)TELE-satellit 1997. All rights reserved.

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