Tshwane unrest dominated SA media coverage despite no SABC footage

2016-06-26 14:33


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Johannesburg  Despite the SABC's policy of not showing of footage of violent protests, the unrest that broke out in Tshwane over mayoral candidates dominated media coverage this week, according to media monitoring company, ROi Africa.

"With almost a quarter of our news reporting across major stories, despite the SABC’s mandate not to show visuals of protests, the news media made enough noise to make the unrest the biggest story across the charts by far," said head of ROi Africa, Tonya Khoury.

"The SABC came firmly into the spotlight with one in every 10 items referring to the censorship," Khoury added.

The Springboks took second place in news media, while there "little coverage" of the High Court in Pretoria's dismissal on Friday of President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority's bid to appeal its decision that the president should face corruption charges.

The Tshwane unrest also dominated on social media, with the topic making up 40% the country's social media conversation.

Brexit biggest global story

At least five people died over the past week after violent protests erupted in parts of Tshwane. This was after the ANC announced Thoko Didiza as the city's mayoral candidate for the local government elections on August 3.

Some residents said they wanted current mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa to be the candidate.

The SABC has faced increasing criticism following COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s decision last month not to show footage of violent protests. He argued that showing footage of the destruction of property would encourage such actions.

The criticism against Motsoeneng peaked this week after footage of the Tshwane protest was not aired on the SABC.

Three SABC employees were suspended after they had apparently voiced their concern and disagreement over not covering a Right2Know (R2K) protest which took place outside the SABC building on Monday. The R2K protest related to Motsoeneng's decision.

In international news, Britain's decision to leave the European Union, which is commonly known as Brexit, dominated worldwide coverage, with Khoury reporting it was "one of the largest stories we’ve ever seen in the history of ROi Africa".

"Almost 70% of the world’s reporting across top stories referred to Brexit. The world expressed dismay at the outcome of the UK referendum and the subsequent resignation of [British Prime Minister] David Cameron."


Read more on:    pretoria  |  protests  |  local elections 2016  |  politics

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