One will always compare people, parties, teams and styles. Today the media got a chance to compare press conference styles between the outgoing ANC and the incoming DA (with coalition partners).
A plain white backdrop set the scene making it easier to concentrate on the message and not constantly wonder about bits of logo getting in the frame and rendering shots unusable was a good start.
The message was quick, to the point and well rehearsed – no umming and aahing and welcoming the whole world.
Critically observing most of the hacks they looked relaxed and fired up to get the story.
This contrast in styles was brought more to the point when I say in reaction to a Government press release just received; “All this talk about media transformation makes me wonder if it is not an attempt to preach to the media and coerce them to write more sympathetically about the ruling party?” (See right at the bottom for the release that prompted this question).
I say this as the announcement by the Democratic Alliance of their coalition government in Nelson Mandela Bay is still ringing in my mind.
At the press conference we witnessed a barrage of media from across the spectrum – online, print, radio, TV, you name it – and I, the eternal cynic, was actually quite shocked to hear them applauding the coalition made up of the Democratic Alliance, the Congress of the People‚ the United Democratic Movement and the African Christian Democratic Party.
Shocked you may ask? Well, because they applauded and because almost all that I have spoken to are quite happy that the ruling party has now got an opportunity to be the official opposition. And, yes, the eternal race question does need to be focused on for a bit – suffice to say that the diversity issue in terms of Minister Faith Muthambi’s definition is most certainly well representative of our Rainbow Nation amongst the hacks that were present at today’s announcement. In fact it is pretty well representative in terms of all the media people I come across on the ground!
These parties were represented at the coalition table by; Athol Trollip (DA), Mongameli Ellcotte Bobani (UDM), Siyasanga Sijadu (COPE) and Thoko Florence Tshangela (UDM). Absent was Lance Patrick Grootboom (ACDP).
DA Mayor in waiting, Athol Trollip said; “The people of Nelson Mandela Bay have spoken. Residents have voted for change and given us a mandate to form a government and work together to stop corruption, create jobs and deliver better services to all. The cooperating parties in this agreement have committed to being partners in this government to give effect to our local government manifesto promises. We look forward to formally ratifying this government at tomorrow’s council sitting.”
To say that the supporting pronouncements by all coalition partners present were pleasing to listen to would be correct – all representatives were saying the right words and treating all with respect.
In fact the entire announcement is to be seen and heard below – REQUIRED WATCHING as we make sure that the new local government in power governs properly, without fear or favour, eradicates corruption and puts the citizens of our Metro first:
Nelson Mandela Bay Coalition partners and the Democratic Alliance were asked; “How do you feel?” at the announcement by the DA that they have secured the vital 50% + 1 for 61 seats in the NMB Council. The Special Council meeting to choose the Mayor, his Deputy and Speaker is the next hurdle on 18 August 2016.
About that transformation bugbear of mine – this is what Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has planned:
Media transformation will take centre stage at the upcoming two-day Media Transformation, Accountability and Diversity Colloquium, which will be hosted by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi next week.
The colloquium will start on Thursday, August 25 at the Freedom Park in Pretoria.
The conference aims to bring together a broad range of stakeholders that will contribute to a meaningful debate on media transformation, accountability and diversity priorities in the country.
Various stakeholders ranging from NGOs, government departments, advocacy forums, media houses, academia, civil society and other key role players are set to attend.
During her Budget Vote Speech earlier this year, Minister Muthambi indicated that print media transformation is her department’s flagship project for the 2016/17 financial year. She said there was a huge disconnect between the expectations of both government and media on what exactly the role of the media should be.
“Media transformation will be made to address not only print media ownership but also the ownership of printing press, the measurement of circulation, distribution channels and the assessment of regulatory instruments to regulate the affairs of media practitioners,” said Minister Muthambi during her Budget Vote Speech.
The Minister’s view is that South Africa needs a diverse media industry that truly reflects the “rainbow nation” – from ownership and control to the newsroom.
She said this is to ensure that media freedom is enjoyed by all citizens, irrespective of their racial group and gender across the country, including those in the deep rural areas so that they too can have the opportunity to not only consume media, but produce and own media.
After the dawn of democracy in 1994, transforming the white-owned media industry was the cornerstone of the new South African government. The idea was to de-racialise the industry through increasing black ownership and control as well as its role in support of development.
All the media houses were expected to contribute to the transformation of the country by building social cohesion and promoting values of a caring society.
“We take stock of the transformation that has occurred in this industry to ensure that the ownership of these influential media assets reflects our diversity.
“Untransformed media is unable to comprehensively demonstrate the plurality of voices in our societies – diversity in content,” said Minister Muthambi. – SAnews.gov.za
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