New SABC news channel will tell SA’s ‘true story’

2013-08-01 18:53

South African Broadcasting Corporation CEO Lulama Mokhobo says the public broadcaster will use its new 24-hour channel to tell South Africa’s true story.

The channel, which will initially air on DStv, went live this evening.

Speaking at its launch, Communications Minister Yunus Carrim said it will be available on free-to-air TV once the move from analogue to digital terrestrial television happens.

Some have criticised the SABC’s decision to offer its 24-hour news on a pay platform as it has the sole public broadcasting mandate in the country.

Carrim also played down fears that the channel is financially unsustainable, saying this was the risk facing such channels the world over.

He expressed hope that the channel would help the broadcaster win back audiences it had lost.

The channel, the launch of which coincided with the 77th anniversary of the SABC, airs on DStv Channel 404.

President Jacob Zuma, who was the first guest to be interviewed, said the media failed to tell the South African story in full, saying there was a need to report local stories beyond the coverage of crime and corruption.

He expressed hope that the channel would help South Africans realise their right to freedom of expression.

“Journalists will be able to share with South Africans the successes of their country in the past 20 years, as well as the work that must still be done further in building a prosperous South Africa and a better Africa,” he said.

“In short, the true and full South African story is waiting to be told.”

He said he would like “to be introduced to ordinary South Africans, their experiences and what they do on a day-to-day basis to make this country succeed, in all corners of our land.

“A new channel also provides an opportunity to tell the story of African progress. We are fortunate to be living through a period of Afro-optimism,” he said.

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