Task team to tackle transformation

2012-09-26 18:15


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Johannesburg - A new task team on media transformation was announced by Print and Digital Media SA on Wednesday.

Chairperson Nkwenkwe Nkomo told reporters in Johannesburg: "The team will take submissions from industry players and identify stakeholders and then produce a report which will be the blueprint for transformation of print and digital media."

The print and digital media transformation task team intended helping the media industry develop a common strategy for transformation.

Project director Mathatha Tsedu said the team was the first of its kind, with other industry commissions having looked at issues such as press freedom.

"This is looking at the business side," said Tsedu, a former newspaper editor.

"As far as I know, we have not had a commission or task team of this nature before."

The task team would first do research and then make its findings on transformation in the media.

It would then propose ways to put the findings into practice and to enforce them.

The team would examine issues such as ownership, management, employment equity, skills development, and the low level of black ownership in many large media groups.


Nkomo, an advertising executive, said the task team was the result of debates and calls for more transformation by society and the government - most recently, Parliament's portfolio committee on communication.

The committee in June criticised the print media sector and demanded a transformation charter.

The industry, represented by Print Media SA (now Print and Digital Media SA) rejected the call and said it would deal with the matter in its own way.

Nkomo said the importance of the media had been shown in the past, as it both supported and fought apartheid.

"As a part of new society, it must be proactive in redressing the imbalances of the past, while ensuring its independence and being proactive in its vital role of promoting democracy."

Tsedu said the task team's findings would be based only on research.

"We do not have preconceived notions of who is the good guy and who is the bad guy."

Nkomo said the task team was expected to conclude its work and release a report by April 2013.

Other members of the task team also come from the media and related industries.

They are: Neo Bodibe, Anastacia Martin, Jan Malherbe, Nomvuyiso Batyi, Duma Gqubule and Nixon Karithi.

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