News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
19 Jan 2018
2:56 pm

Morning Live outside broadcasts are paid for, they are not interviews – SABC

Gosebo Mathope

Kganyago sought to differentiate between charging clients for a marketing campaign and paying for one interview with a political principal.

FILE PICTURE: The SABC building in Auckland Park. Picture: WikiMedia Commons/Mike Powell

South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) long-running early morning news and current flagship programme Morning Live is well into its 15th successive year of being on air. It pulls in viewers in the million daily.

The programme regularly beams outside broadcasts for various government departments where politicians, bureaucrats and other stakeholders are interviewed throughout the two-hour broadcast on that specific date.

It is not free. Should you wish to invite the SABC to cover your event, the broadcast infrastructure that include the OB van, technical crew, presenters, caterers and presenters might have to arrive the night before broadcast.

The SABC is frank about the fact that they charge for the services, and spokesperson Kaiser Kganyago would rather South Africans not obfuscate between a marketing campaign and a current affairs interview.

“That is what we are saying. We are explaining that where government departments and companies request an outside broadcast, we will charge for the service. What we won’t do is to charge for an interview with a politician,” Kganyago said.

READ MORE: SABC board concludes Bathabile Dlamini’s interview was an advert

Very well then, can the public broadcaster avail the information so the public is informed about which departments and private companies have paid for a shot at publicity courtesy of Leanne Manas and Palesa Chubisi?

Not gonna happen, says Kganyago. He says the SABC will rather keep that information between itself and its clients. He argues that doing so will compromise the SABC and risk dwindling the income revenue streams it has.

“You must remember we have competitors in the market. They are interested in the same clients that are working with the SABC. This is part of our revenue strategy, and we don’t want them to get the information,” he said.

That’s still a little bit all over the show considering that the entire programme deals with hard news and current affairs. In the board statement issued today, the SABC denies that money changes hands at the news and current affairs unit.

“The media should look at the bigger picture, not just the SABC. It should ask whether other broadcasters are charging clients for coverage. Yes, the SABC editorial policy is clear on this issue on our side, but it could help if we can get an objective take on this matter,” he said.

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