A confidential market research survey has found that South Africans
think the South African Broadcasting Corporation treats government
officials with kid gloves and tends ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œto cover upÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â governmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s
wrongdoings, writes Adriaan Basson in the Mail&Guardian.
The Mail & Guardian has a copy of a report, titled Qualitative Overview of Current Affairs Programmes, compiled by research firm Plus 94 in March 2007. It was commissioned by Snuki ZikalalaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s news and current affairs division.
and listeners from all language groups were interviewed in focus groups
conducted in eight provinces during January and February. The major
- It was expected of the SABCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s news and
current affairs programmes to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfight the cause of the citizensÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â even if
it meant ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œtouching the nerve and shaking up the political, economic and
other prominent social programmesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â;
- Talk shows, sports
programmes and some documentaries were defined as current affairs
programmes and regarded as better than most of the SABCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s news
- Only the investigative programme, Special Assignment, was seen as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œabove boardÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â regarding credibility.
report recommended that the SABC undertake marketing campaigns to
promote its news offerings. This would help strengthen the credibility
and trust that the SABCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s news and current affairs division ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œso
Zulu-language speakers felt that political
issues were toned down ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œto the extent that even the lack of commitment
to reach closure on issues was seen as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“a sign of some external
The SABCÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s current affairs credibility
was thought ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œnot to be convincing and perceptions of external control
persistedÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. Zulu viewers saw Special Assignment as the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œonly truly credible offering on boardÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe truth must be told, we are not fools,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â a Durban focus group remarked.
Click here for the full report, posted on M&G Online.