Media debate bias and reporting

Founder of the Decolonization Foundation, Mzwanele Manyi says a petition to remove Gupta-owned channel ANN7 from the DSTv bouquet is ‘sad’ and suggests that it reflects people's inability to tolerate opposing views.

DStv subscribers who are calling for MultiChoice to remove the channel allege the station is one-sided and presents an entirely different news narrative.

Former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan recently reacted to the station's coverage of the cabinet reshuffle, accusing it of lying and discrediting treasury.

Social media users have themselves ridiculed ANN7 over its technical mishaps, untrained journalists and 'inflated' reports, questioning its credibility.

Manyi says every media station holds some kind of bias and are prone to mistakes.

It will be a sad day if mistakes cannot be allowed. Even a matured station like ENCA makes a lot of mistakes, I can give you screen-grabs....

Mzwanele Manyi, Founder of the Decolonization Foundation

The issue about objectivity and bias as if this is an ANN7 problem whereas it is a media wide problem. In terms of bias, my analysis is I think every station has a primary bias. I think ENCA has a primary bias which if I were to characterise it is generally anti-government, anti-ANC and they are entitled to do that.

Mzwanele Manyi, Founder of the Decolonization Foundation

We are being told now that it's mainstream and nothing else. This is why at a government level we have a n organisation called MDDA, primarily to ensure that we have a multiplicity of voices... to get a diversity of opinions out there.

Mzwanele Manyi, Founder of the Decolonization Foundation

Eyewitness News Reporter Clement Manyathela called in to share his experience with the channel when he worked there.

He says little training and development was allowed.

Manyathela describes how some political stories were slanted and reporters were dictated to on how to report during his time at ANN7.

I agree that every single newsroom has agendas but as a young journalist you push me out and tell me this is how you are going to report about this, I don't think you are really developing me.

Clement Manyathela, EWN Reporter

Cecilia Russel, Editor of special projects at ANN7 defended the channel's use of young reporters and argued that it was an opportunity for them to learn and grow.

She insisted ANN7 does have a few senior reporters but acknowledged that staff do move on to other jobs.

Click below to listen to the full debate with Cecilia Russel, Editor of special projects at ANN7 and William Bird Director of Media Monitoring Africa:


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