SABC news is the real thing

2010-07-31 14:16

The basic idea of media representation as a process of deliberate inclusion and exclusion, operating within a specific ideological framework for the sake of acquiring power, is one that has always captivated me.

Hence, I understand media work as “re-presentation”, or the “re-packaging” of ideas so that they can be construed according to agendas – whether they be political, economic or otherwise.

The best example of this lies in television, where we are exposed to orchestrations so convincing that we often fail to notice what’s going on behind the scenes.

For a while, I couldn’t understand why people criticised me for watching the SABC’s brand of TV news.

But I knew I was onto something. Recently, I discovered that my favourite genre of entertainment is South African news – mainly because of the way in which it is re-presented on SABC.

Forget the presenters’ tacky costumes, crude make-up and outlandish accents, and think about the last time you watched an SABC news broadcast sans hiccup.

Whether it be a break in transmission when it’s the dissenter’s turn to speak during a debate, the wrong voice-over for the visuals on a corruption story or a health statistics graphic that belongs only on a comedy sketch show, they are always there.

But this is what makes SABC news the most entertaining and informative thing to watch. Unlike the glossy goop some choose to consume in the form of CNN, Al Jazeera, eNews etc, SABC news is hilarious and it contextualises our state of being down here at the tip of Africa.

In this sense, it is the only news outlet that fully discloses any agenda it may have by being the embodiment of its cause (i.e. the state) – confused, dysfunctional and at times just downright silly.

So I know that while I’m being entertained by the News @ 7, I am also being educated on how this adolescent we call the New South Africa is coping with her demanding parents, wild mood swings and shortage of pocket money.

  • Patel is a City Press subeditor

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