Headline on 'Manyi after control' story a distortion: iLIVE
The headline for Canaan Mdletshe's article ("Manyi after control of who gets state advertising money", April 16) is both misleading and creates false perceptions.
Contrary to article 5.1 of the SA Press Code, the headline does not give a reasonable reflection of the contents of the article in question.
The article talks about centralisation of government media buying, lack of government advertising in community media and funding challenges faced by the community media.
The headline suggests Jimmy Manyi wants to control who gets state advertising money. The use of the words "Manyi after control" is a distortion. This is in breach of Article 1.2 of the SA Press Code that reads: "News shall be presented in context and in a balanced manner, without any intentional or negligent departure from the facts whether by . distortion ."
It is worth noting that the centralisation of government media buying has been in operation since June 2011 following a cabinet decision to bulk buy.
As a matter of fact, on April 14, the Government Communication and Information System convened the KwaZulu-Natal Community Media Indaba, held at the Durban City Hall, and the Media Development and Diversity Agency was an active participant.
It was attended by more than 70 people and around 35 community and small commercial media projects from the length and breadth of KwaZulu-Natal. This forum provided the community and small commercial media sector an opportunity to meet with GCIS and MDDA, share experiences and challenges, and ideas on how best to support them and create an enabling environment for their sustainability.
These sessions were also held in Free State in January and Western Cape last month.
At the KwaZulu-Natal indaba, the community and small commercial media highlighted the challenge of operating with limited resources which impact negatively on their daily operations and sustainability. Practitioners from the community radio sector urged GCIS to develop a system that would enable them to download audio feeds from government press briefings as they have limited resources to send journalists to press conferences.
GCIS CEO Jimmy Manyi also updated the community and small commercial media practitioners on the government communication programme and content- sharing with the community media.
Manyi noted the GCIS is interested in community and small commercial media reflecting and reporting on bread and butter issues that face the communities. The GCIS committed to provide government information to the sector directly and for free.
The MDDA CEO Lumko Mtimde supported the centralised media buying model. Mtimde updated the practitioners on the MDDA interventions to secure advertising revenue for the sector through the planned online advertising booking system.
He provided advice on how the sector can improve professionalism using technology and the importance of accountability.
He reported on the challenges facing community TV with respect to uncertainty in terms of regulation as a result of the digital migration. Mtimde urged the sector to differentiate itself from the mainstream media in content and by definition, reflect diversity of views and of languages, report on developments in the areas, source news and information from diverse sources and promote local content.
At the end of the indaba it was agreed that the GCIS and the sector in KwaZulu-Natal would convene bimonthly networking sessions to improve working relations and share information.