Petition over removal of Gupta-owned news channel ANN7 grows

The ANN7 footage that gone viral.
The ANN7 footage that gone viral.

The online petition started five days ago by DStv subscribers to remove the ANN7 news channel from DStv has reached more than 11 000 signatures.

Petitioners are calling for the channel to be taken off of DStv saying “it is biased and creating divisions in the country”.

They condemned ANN7’s “propagandist” coverage of political events, saying they no longer wanted to pay for the Gupta-owned news channel’s offerings and for “DStv [to not] aid fake news”.

“I object to ANN7 being part of the DStv offering. They give totally fake news reports and they are an insult to my intelligence,” said Jenny Zaidel.

Berne Nightingale said “ANN7 is a propaganda station, should not have to pay for it”.

Elise Hattingh added: “this junk is bringing our country down”.

ANN7 has more than frequently been plagued by what some call unprofessional reporting from inexperienced reporters, spelling mistakes, technical and on-air glitches, and non-factual reporting.

"We provide a platform for a number of local and international news channels over which we have no editorial control.

"Concerns over content and or facts portrayed by any channel can be lodged at the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA)," Multichoice said. 

ANN7 said they could not offer comment at the time as they would have to consult with their public relations company.

Following his removal as finance minister, at a press conference on Friday Pravin Gordhan also expressed concerns of ANN7’s style of broadcasting, saying it has “a lot so say with so-called independent analysts”.

“They have a lot to say when they want to attack us, and malign us and try to disgrace us. PR firms are hired, millions of rands are spent. To do what? Malign democratic institutions of South Africa?” Gordhan said.

He slammed the Gupta-owned channel, telling them to “play fair”.

Meanwhile, the South African National Editors’ Forum said it received a report of verbal attacks and threats of physical harm on journalists from ANN7.

The perpetrators were members of the public.

“Freedom of the media and freedom of expression are enshrined in our Constitution and should be respected by the whole society.

“Whilst people are entitled to their views about media owners and editorial content, journalists should be allowed to conduct their work without fear or favour,” the organisation said.

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