Variety of news channels 'healthy for democracy'

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pretoria – The Communications Ministry has welcomed the launch of Africa News Network 7 (ANN7) – a new 24 hour news channel – that goes live on DSTV channel 405 at 6pm tonight.

Siya Qoza, the ministry’s spokesperson, said the addition of a third 24-hour news channel – after SABC launched its own channel earlier this month – is healthy for democracy as it would promote a wider coverage of news from a “multitude” of news platforms.

“…At some point, you hope that they will start telling the South African story. So it would be very good [to] have a variety of news platforms,” he said.

Tonight’s broadcast will be preceded by a launch event at the Sandton Convention Centre, and Qoza said Communications Minister Yunus Carrim will attend the event.

ANN7 will be headquartered at Midrand in Gauteng, and according to a media statement on the news channel’s website, it will focus on “constructive, nation-building stories in the interests of building a culture of unity and pride in SA”.

Amongst those who have been named as the channel’s new presenters include former cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi, who will host a weekly talk show Straight Talk, businesswoman Gerry Rantseli-Elsdon, who will host Vuka Africa. Kwaito artist Arthur Mafokate will host a weekly sport show called Hola Weekend.

The New Age newspaper quoted Nazeem Howa, the CEO of The New Age Media, saying that as a new entrant in the news field, he expected his staff to make mistakes when they make their broadcast debut, and added that they would get better once they receive feedback from viewers.

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