Georgina Guedes

ANN7's cruelty to its presenters

2013-08-30 11:14

Georgina Guedes

Last week's launch of Africa News Network or ANN7 was met with howls of hilarity from the public. And with good reason. Videos of bloopers with presenters flubbing their lines and mispronouncing fairly basic words and names, embarrassing pauses, production staff speaking over presenters, and factual howlers flooded YouTube.

I followed the uproar on Twitter for a while before trying to watch some of the clips. By the time I got around to it, most of them had been removed. Then, someone posted a link that was still live and I clicked on it quickly, grabbed a box of popcorn, and sat down to watch.

My first impression was that Twitter wasn't exaggerating. These awkward, confused children, staring wide-eyed into the camera while stumbling over incoherent babble were laughable as the faces of a supposedly professional news network.

My finger hovered over the retweet button, but then I had second thoughts. These young presenters, the faces of ANN7, are not to blame for what's being broadcast. And yet they're very publicly being held up and ridiculed as evidence of everything that's wrong with the network.

A blurred line


It made me think of the nurse who killed herself after putting an Australian prank call through to the ward where the Duchess of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness. I didn't forward on the link because I didn't want to take part in the propagation of a dangerous kind of ridicule.

These poor kids are being herded into the spotlight, promised their dreams - fame, respect, a career - and then left to blink in the glare, with no real idea what's going on. We know that when we're laughing at them, we're laughing at ANN7 as a whole, but that line is easily blurred.

And sadly, anyone who wants to see an ANN7 blooper, need only turn on their television, flip to DSTV channel 405 and watch for a few minutes.

Model and presenter Sheena Deepnarain, who works for ANN7, came out with a statement about the network. "There was a need for someone or some company to take that chance and invest in the youth of the media and entertainment industry and that was ANN7. And for that I am grateful to ANN7 and admire ANN7."

Support and develop youth

That's all well and good, but investing in the youth isn't about employing young people and then leaving them floundering. It's about identifying the correct people in the first place and then immersing them in a professional environment, training them, giving them mentors and coaching them in how to present, how to speak, and how to graciously deal with mistakes when they happen.

The management of and investors in ANN7 have directed a lot of money into scrubbing the internet clean of any evidence of their failings. It would be better if they took measures to prevent the embarrassing news clips from being broadcast in the first place.

They should do this, not because it's professional, not because it might attract advertisers, but simply because, if they're so determined to invest in the youth of South Africa (and God knows, we need it), then they have an obligation to do so in a way that supports them and develops them, rather than subjecting them to the ridicule of a cruel public.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

Send your comments to Georgina

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.



- News24

Read more on:    ann7  |  tv
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
20 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Oscar Pistorius

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong social and romantic overtone that plays its way into your day. It may get stronger later in the day when the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.