Global Mandela TV coverage dwindles

2013-07-20 14:05
(Photo: file, AFP)

(Photo: file, AFP)

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Johannesburg - Very few international TV broadcasters have remained interested in reporting on former president Nelson Mandela, according to a media research company.

Only South Africa had provided enough coverage of his health and legacy, which was keeping him topical, Media Tenor SA found.

"We expected local media to keep focusing on the former statesman going into July, given that this has always been a topical month for him," said senior researcher Stephano Radaelli.

"In addition, our research suggests that South Africans would feel that the news in the past two months had only been focusing on Nelson Mandela and his family."

In 2009, 18 July, Madiba's birthday, was declared as Mandela Day in South Africa to honour the former statesman.

The United Nations has declared 18 July as International Nelson Mandela Day.

Radaelli said that Media Tenor SA believed that many people in some parts of Europe were wondering what happened to Mandela as the latest news they would remember hearing was that his health was critical.

He said most of the other global media, who were still interested in Mandela, had turned away from the negative issue -- his health -- and had begun to focus more on his legacy.

Media Tenor SA found at the beginning of July that South Africa and France were the only countries whose media coverage of Mandela focused on his legacy rather than his health.

However, Mandela's family had received "dire media coverage" in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia in July.

"Fortunately, the negative coverage affecting his family's reputation has not affected Nelson Mandela's own image," Radaelli said.

Media Tenor SA found that the Mandela family  members were more topical than G8 leaders on global TV news in July.

Presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement on Thursday that Mandela's health was steadily improving.

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