SA enters the 24/7 TV news era

2008-05-30 00:00

The countdown has begun. Television history will be made tomorrow when South Africa’s first 24-hour news service, the eNews Channel, is launched on channel 403 on DStv.

Jeremy Maggs and Redi Direko will launch the channel at 7 pm.

With television high-flyer and presenter of Third Degree, Debora Patta, as editor-in-chief of eNews, the channel looks set to compete with international networks like Sky and CNN.

The channel, which will include a morning news show and an afternoon update and rolling news coverage all day, will also feature an African news bulletin and current affairs and sports programmes.

Marcel Golding, chief executive officer of e.sat (’s sister business), described the launch as an historic moment for South African broadcasting.

“In a developing country with so many challenges and issues, a 24-hour news channel will contribute to keeping society abreast of what is happening and can play a critical role in informed debate and discussion. We believe the eNews channel will become an important voice in South Africa’s democracy,” Golding said.

For those without DStv, the news programming on will continue as usual.

Patta said that in preparation for the move, bosses spent two years visiting the best channels in the world to find out how it all works.

“We visited BBC News 24, Sky News, Al Jazeera and the American networks ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CNN.”

The station is hiring 150 new staff across the country and the channel ultimately aims to have offices in major centres in the rest of Africa.

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