Monday, October 20, 2014

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: CNN International's Isha Sesay is 'an angry black woman' over media coverage and the world's response to Ebola.

The CNN International (DStv 401) anchor Isha Sesay whose parents are from Sierra Leone - the epicentre of the Ebola pandemic devastating West Africa - says she is "an angry black woman" over the media coverage and the world's inadequate response to Ebola.

"I am an angry black woman. I have a very tense relationship with the story because I'm living in the United States but my family is in Sierra Leone. My mother, brother, grandmother - most of my family - are in Sierra Leone right now."

Isha Sesay was speaking as a panelist member at the Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in one of the media forum sessions forming part of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

"I'm in a place where America has taken this, in my words 'bizarre' approach to this public health emergency on our continent and the media in the United States has made it all about them and their few cases," said Isha Sesay who've spent much of her childhood in Sierra Leone.

"I was at the airport a couple of weeks ago and the driver was picking me up. I was there at the baggage carousel. And he said 'Where are you from?' And I said 'I'm from Sierra Leone.' And he took a step back from me."

"And I thought: 'Wow. How wretched a job have we done as the media that people think that just because I'm from Sierra Leone, that just being in my presence, regardless of whether I was in Sierra Leone or not, that I'm somehow inherently a carrier of Ebola," said Isha Sesay.

A lack of knowledge, lack of empathy
"What I'm seeing in the United States is this lack of knowledge. And not just a lack of knowledge, but also a lack of empathy for what we are going through right now on the continent. So I'm in a really difficult space right now."

"The coverage of Ebola to date - before we moved to the situation where we're now where the focus is so much on America and the fear that the Western hemisphere is going to be taken over by Ebola - the coverage of the continent had fixated on the continent, and so little on the people."

"It was all about the disease stripping us of our dignity, that the stories of the people - what it is doing to individuals and families and communities - haven't been told as much. We haven't as media been that committed to telling it in as much as the continent deserves."

"I'm the co-founder of because I want to change the discourse around Ebola and really bring in the voices of our people who are suffering, who may not be suffering from the disease directly but are being impacted," said Isha Sesay.

"The media need to hold the international community to account, to say 'Where are you?' We have an Ebola UN emergency fund and there's very little money in it. We have pledges being made, but the pledges aren't being translated into action."

"We have some countries saying they're going to step up and a lot of countries sitting on the sidelines."

"Where are we as the media asking those questions and holding people accountable, and staying on the stories and not averting our gaze and being sidetracked to cases of three people in the United States - people whose lives are valuable, critical - we don't want anyone to die, but again, the epicentre is on the African continent. The responsibility lies with the journalists here in Africa to ask the questions," said Isha Sesay.

The clock is ticking
"We have to realise that the clock is ticking. The world has never anything like this and the world really doesn't know how to deal with numbers that is being put out there that could become a reality."

"The media needs to do their part in getting the facts out, asking the questions, staying on this story and tracking it and looking at the resources coming into countries."

"There's a lot of stories to be told. There's an information gap here. In the absence of information there's hysteria. And there's inertia," said Isha Sesay.

"I interviewed a survivor of Ebola from Liberia who not only has been cast out but his children are being cast out. He told me his car broke down the other day and the mechanics and they wouldn't touch his car."

TV with Thinus asked how media without the global reach and resources of a 24-hour TV news channel or international newspaper can try and cover Ebola news more effectively. Thomas Evans, CNN London's bureau chief said that "with the story of Ebola, the risk is quite high, so I wouldn't recommend people rushing in without taking proper precautions".

"That being said, that is not the only story - going into an Ebola country. That is not the only way to tell this story. You can talk about what governments are doing, you can talk about the issues of health care systems; these are stories that are equally important."

"Just because you're not in villages being completely wiped out by Ebola, doesn't mean that you can't be telling the Ebola story economically, socially, government response," said Tomas Evans.

Africa's dilemma over Ebola
"There is another dilemma Africa faces," said Kenya's dr. Susan Mboya-Kidero, president of The Coca-Cola Foundation, saying African countries' governments and local media have an attitude of "lets not play this [Ebola] too much".

"Just take Kenya for instance. The country the past year has gone through terrorism, security issues, tourism is way down. The last thing African governments need right now is another disaster."

"And so for many they're saying: 'Let's not overdo this. Let's not blow it out proportion. Let's not give the world another reason not to come and not to invest in Africa. And that's the dilemma," said dr. Susan Mboya-Kidero.

"We need to learn from the situations in Nigeria and Senegal and we need to keep telling the stories," said Isha Sesay.

" is just about getting the information out, it is also a forum to engage key influencers and thought leaders to look for further answers and solutions to this crisis."

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: CNN International's Soni Methu of Inside Africa: 'There's so much beauty, growth, happening right now in Africa.'

The wonderfully friendly, funny, and simply beaming Soni Methu is the new presenter of the weekly magazine show Inside Africa on CNN International (DStv 401).

Following in the footsteps of Isha Sesay and Errol Barnett who presented Inside Africa before her, Soni Methu from Kenya says she simply loves the travelling aspect of the pan-African show, visiting various African countries on a weekly basis and getting to talk to a wide variety of people.

On Saturday TV with Thinus met up with Soni Methu in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for a quick chat during her visit to the East African country for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

What do you enjoy about being the new presenter and host of the weekly Inside Africa on CNN International?
Soni: So far the best is the travelling across the continent and meeting so many influential people who are making such a huge difference across Africa. So travelling and meeting wonderful people everywhere.

Why do you think that a programme such as Inside Africa is important to be on television, and especially on a globally watched TV news channel like CNN International?
Soni: Well, Inside Africa gives viewers across the world the positive stories about Africa and its people.
Just like everyone's life where it's important to have a "feel good" thing about you, so while the most stories getting coverage is not always very positive, Inside Africa is a show where viewers can see the positive things happening across Africa, that there's so much beauty, growth, development and wonderful talent happening right now in the whole of Africa.
Inside Africa is a weekly passport to that.

You're the next in the line of succession after Isha and Errol and now viewers are seeing you as the face of Inside Africa. For young girls watching you, people seeing you in their homes, and who maybe also want to go into television or become a TV presenter, what advice would you have for them?
Soni: Just be yourself. Don't listen to other people wanting to tell you who you should be or how you should be, or why you should be different. If you are just yourself, if you're true to yourself that's the best thing you can do to join the TV industry and to be good in the industry.
It's good to have someone to admire and to look up to, but stick to who you are.

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: Isha Sesay oddly absent as host, as Soni Methu steps in to present CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

The CNN reporter and anchor Isha Sesay who did fly to Tanzania and who was announced and supposed to be the host, was oddly absent on Saturday evening when Soni Methu suddenly stepped in to be the host of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 in Dar es Salaam.

The journalist-filled studio audience at the Mlimani City conference centre in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania  instantly started to buzz, wondering and asking aloud: "Where is Isha?" when the new CNN International (DStv 401) presenter of Inside Africa, Soni Methu, appeared on stage to welcome the audience.

The organisers of Africa's most prestigious competition recognising and honouring excellence in journalism across the continent, earlier announced Isha Sesay as the host of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014, and she is the one people expected to see as the presenter for the evening.

It is also Isha Sesay's name who appeared in the official, high-gloss printed programme for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 as host for the evening.

Yet neither CNN International nor MultiChoice ever announced that Isha Sesay would no longer be the host, and no prior mention was made that Soni Methu would be the new host.

There was no explanation as to her absence and why Isha Sesay disappeared.

Earlier on Saturday morning in Dar es Salaam as part of the three day long media forum series of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014, the always eloquent Isha Sesay was part of a panel discussion regarding media coverage of Ebola, and on Friday evening she also showed up at a thank you dinner at the Akemi Revolving restaurant.

At the gala dinner on Saturday night following the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 journalist buzzed about Isha Sesay's absence. With no explanation from the organisers, multiple "conspiracy" theories bloomed.

Did Isha Sesay suddenly fly to Nigeria to cover the latest news about the missing Nigerian school girls - a story she gave exceptional coverage to earlier this year - since she was now again a hop skip and a jump away in Africa from that country?

Was Isha Sesay somehow pushed out at the last minute with Soni Methu pushed in?

Did Isha Sesay suddenly take ill?

Did Isha Sesay quickly fly to Sierra Leone to see her family and parents who still live there and to check on them, since she is very concerned about their well-being in the African country which is the epicentre of the struggle with Ebola?

Or was Isha Sesay "jealous" of Soni Methu also being a part of the event and refused to take part? Journalists thought this last theory was unlikely - both Isha Sesay and Soni Methu took several photos together, chatted the whole evening, and posed together with guest for photos at Friday evening's dinner.

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: Kenyan photo journalist Joseph Mathenge announced the winner of CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

The Kenyan photo journalist Joseph Mathenge was announced the winner of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 - the first time a photo journalist won this competition - for his work capturing arresting images published worldwide of the horrific terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in Kenya in September 2013.

Joseph Mathenge was on his way to go photograph a wedding when his son urged him to make a U-turn and race to the mall where he captured the striking set of images as unknown gunmen opened fire on civilians.

This year's ceremony - Africa's most prestigious competition honouring excellence in journalism across the continent - took place on Saturday evening at the Mlimani City conference centre in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania with host and CNN presenter Soni Methu who stepped in for an absent Isha Sesay.

South Africans and South African media also won in some of the categories which received entries from 38 nations across the continent, culminating in the 28 finalists from 10 countries who attended Saturday's awards ceremony.

Sean Christie won the business award for his Landbouweekblad and The Mail & Guardian article about deforestation in Zimbabwe.

Joy Summers and Susan Cromrie won the infrastructure award for their corruption with solar geysers story for M-Net's Carte Blanche investigative magazine show.

The judging panel gave the Press Freedom award to the jailed editor Bheki Makhubu from Swaziland's The Nation newspaper, saying that Swaziland has a long history of abuse of civil rights and freedom of expression.

Bheki Makhubu and columnist Thulani Maseko were jailed after highlighting state corruption regarding the misuse of government vehicles.

"We believe the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards has had a profound effect on the African media landscape and as MultiChoice Africa we remain committed to recognising excellence in journalism throughout Africa," said Nico Meyer, CEO of MultiChoice Africa.

"As an African company we take the development of Africa and its people very seriously. Despite the challenges that journalist face on a daily basis you have continued to play a pivotal role in our everyday lives," said Nico Meyer.

"Your dedication and commitment to tell stories that reflect the reality of our world is very encouraging," said Imtiaz Patel, the group CEO of MultiChoice South Africa "Your work echoes a great future for the role of the journalists and serves to further strengthen the role of the media in Africa."

Deborah Rayner, the senior vice president for international news gathering for TV and digital at CNN International applauded the journalists for having "the determination, professionalism and courage to showcase Africa's stories to the world."

"Right now in countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea journalists are risking everything to bring the story of the Ebola crisis to the world. Stories such as these take enormous courage to tackle and serve as a reminder of the challenges that go beyond editorial and logistical issues," said Deborah Rayner.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: 'If the mirror shows your face dirty, the solution is for you to wash it.' - CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

Deborah Rayner (senior vice president of international news gathering for TV and digital at CNN International), Thomas Evans (CNN London bureau chief), dr. Reginald Mengi (IPP chairperson) and Nico Meyer (MultiChoice Africa CEO).

Africa's journalists have a collective responsibility to reveal and tell the truth, to expose corruption and to accurately report what they see, the continent's journalists were told at the welcoming dinner of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 held on Thursday evening in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

"When you look at the mirror and the mirror shows your face dirty, the solution for you is to wash it - not to break the mirror. The mirror only reflects what you've seen," dr. Reginald Mengi, the executive chairperson of the IPP told the journalists from across Africa attending this year's event.

The 19th CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards will take place on Saturday evening at the Mlimani conference centre in Dar es Salaam in the East African country, when some of the best journalists across the continent will be honoured for their work the past year.

It's the first time that Africa's most prestigious competition celebrating journalism is taking place in Tanzania.

"African journalists have to take the responsibility to report and reveal the truth so that people can understand the situation. Through the media it is possible to abolish corruption," said dr. Reginald Mengi.

"Once you journalists and media in general use your pens and voices, corruption will end and economic development will be seen vividly. When writing or reporting, you should focus on the future of the African continent by revealing hidden truths, which in one way or another hinders African development."

Dr. Reginald Mengi said African journalists have the opportunity to report what they experience and witness themselves.

"Your reporting can improve African development as well as the lives of people. Africa is not poor. Africa is rich.

Friday, October 17, 2014

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: CNN: 'Journalists' job is more dangerous but more important than ever before.' - CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

CNN International's (DStv 401) boss for newsgathering told Africa's journalists on Friday in Tanzania that their work is more dangerous, but more important than ever before.

"Journalists' job is more dangerous but more important than ever," Deborah Rayner, the senior vice president of international news gathering for TV and digital at CNN International told journalists.

She was one of the panelists and speakers in a panel discussion at the media forum of this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 which was held at the Kunduchi Beach Hotel's conference centre.

The 19th CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards will take place on Saturday evening at the Mlimani conference centre in Dar es Salaam in the East African country, when some of the best journalists across the continent will be honoured for their work the past year in Africa's most prestigious competition celebrating journalism.

"It's become more important than ever to find ways to establish the truth," said Deborah Rayner.

Speaking in general about journalists, journalism and reporting across all media and not specifically about CNN, Deborah Rayner said "sometimes we're actually guilty of reporting stories peacemeal and in isolation".

"We need to take an even bigger view. We need to be more aware [as journalists]."

"As journalists we get into this because we think we can make an impact. The best type of journalist changes policy."

"Not just journalism but investigative journalism is more important than ever," said Deborah Rayner who called on journalists to be courageous.

"It is our duty to be as diverse as possible and our CNN newsroom is incredibly diverse. In that way you retain perspective and are able to incorporate as many perspectives as possible in your reporting."

Deborah Rayner said she firmly believes in "ground up" news gathering and that publications and broadcasters need to employ and send out experienced reporters to cover stories and gather the news.

"I believe in 'ground up' news gathering. You put the most informed journalists on the job."

"News editors are human beings. You can only hope that your editors have years of experience and are able to compare how you've responded 25 years ago to a type of story to how you're responding now."

"Editors need to listen to their journalists on the ground and it is the editor's job to know the rules. And we hopefully have very clear ethical standards that editors ensure that journalists adhere to," said Deborah Rayner.

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: Journalists need to keep reporting: 'The moment we don't report, we become irrelevant.' - CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014

Editors and experts from across Africa implored the continent's journalist on Friday to not shy away from difficult topics and hard stories and to guard against self-censorship when faced with threatening governments, terrorism, difficult news topics and problematic new media forms like social media where rules, ethics and media dynamics are often still unclear.

"Keep telling the story. The moment we don't report,we become irrelevant. I warn you: Let us be careful.Don't kill stories in the name of patriotism. Report, and report accurately and responsibly," Martins Oloja, the editor of The Guardian newspaper in Nigeria implored journalists.

On Friday morning Martins Oloja was one of the speakers taking part in a panel discussion at the media forum of this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014, held at the conference centre of the Kunduchi Beach Hotel.

Martins Oloja said that whether its Ebola or terror group Boko Haram, "it's a story that has to be reported".

"You have to be responsible with what you put on social media.Whatever you're broadcasting or writing and publishing needs to be responsible," Martins Oloja told journalists from across the country attending the event.

MultiChoice and CNN International are the co-sponsors of the annual journalism event celebrating excellence in journalism across the African continent.

The event will culminate in a gala awards ceremony which will be taking place on Saturday evening in the Mlimani conference centre in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

"As journalists and editors we need to create awareness of issues affecting people's lives," said panelist Suama Negumbo, a news editor at Namibia's Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

"We should not create fear. We should create awareness," she said.

Peter Fauel, MultiChoice the general manager of MultiChoice Tanzania said he's very glad that the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards is finally being held in Tanzania - an awards ceremony which alternates between South African and a different country in Africa every year.

"We waited a long time for this and we're really delighted that the awards is finally being held in Tanzania," said Peter Fauel.

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: 'Public television in Africa needs to serve everyone, especially minorities' - CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

As millions of African media consumers migrate to heavy, daily use of cellphones, pay-TV and other media the role of public television and public broadcasters remain crucial - while they have to transform to keep up with the changing media landscape - journalist and media workers heard at the Friday media forum forming part of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

On Friday morning journalist from across the African continent from various publications and media types gathered at the Kunduchi Beach Hotel for a media forum discussing the changing media landscape in Africa.

The media forum, sponsored by MultiChoice Africa and CNN International, touched on the crucial role of Africa's public broadcasters - many of which in the past didn't serve their citizens and communities but were "state broadcasters", merely being the ruling government's mouthpiece.

Journalists heard how public broadcasters across Africa - at least the ones who will survive in a rapidly changing changing media landscape influenced by a digital revolution, privatisation and new players in a massive wave of democratisation of the airwaves -  will have to adapt to survive and remain relevant.

"I'm an Africa. I can't keep quiet. I have to tell people the news," said dr. Ayub Mhaville, a lecturer at the school of journalism and mass communication at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

He wasn't referring to himself but to ordinary African media and news consumers who are sharing the news of the day irrespective of whether media players - broadcasters and print publications - give them the real news they need, or try to censor it.

He said public broadcasters need to adapt if they want to remain in a position of playing a role and fulfilling a function in ordinary peoples lives.

"As journalists we have a duty to inform. Credibility of the press [in Africa] is still a challenge, not just here in Tanzania but also in other places".

"We need to make sure that the content is professionally prepared, that there is no censorship, that it has the public interest in mind and actually try to raise the standard of journalism," said dr. Ayub Mhaville.

Dr. Ayub Mharville said for too long public broadcasting tailed private broadcasters and pay-TV operators when it comes to quality content.

"You can't force private media to do certain things. They go where there is business. If you have a public service they have to serve everyone - especially minorities."

"A Public broadcasting service must treat everyone equally - opposition and the ruling party. State-run media is not healthy and is not helping," said dr. Ayub Mharville.

"We no longer live in an era where African countries can enjoy what they've enjoyed in the past - using their own so-called 'public media' as mouthpieces and of disinforming people and controlling the flow of information like they did in the past," said dr. Ayub Mharville.

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: Journalists reminded to be 'a voice for the voiceless' as they gather in Tanzania for CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014.

With 2014 media buzz words from Africa which has spread globally like "Boko Haram" and "Ebola", journalists from across the African continent are gathering in Dar es Salaam for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 taking place in Tanzania for the first time on Saturday evening at the Mlimani conference centre in the city.

Journalists from various media outlets spanning television, radio, newspapers, magazines and online publications gathered since Thursday in "The harbour of peace" on the East African coast for various training and media forum sessions over the next few days.

Topics range from how to cover Ebola, journalism ethics like the scourge of the bribery of journalists, to whether social media and mainstream media coverage feed or fight international terror groups.

Nico Meyer, CEO of of MultiChoice Africa thanked reporters on Thursday evening ahead of Saturday's event for "giving a voice to the voiceless" across Africa.

The competition in its 19th year and sponsored by CNN International (DStv 401) and MultiChoice is Africa's most prestigious awards recognising excellence in journalism but has scaled back the number of categories from this year - especially in crucial categories like best TV news bulletin and best TV features award which have now been eliminated.

The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014 this year received entries from 48 countries across the continent, including in French and Portuguese, with 28 finalists from 10 countries.

CNN International anchor Isha Sesay will be the host of the gala awards ceremony taking place on Saturday evening.

Several high profile media people especially from within the press from across the continent jetted into Tanzania for the pan-African event.

Ferial Haffajee, the editor-in-chief of the City Press newspaper in South Africa, is the chairperson of the judging panel and on Thursday told journalists to go further and to tell better stories than benefit society.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sony Max on DStv doing Halloween in October with a first season marathon broadcast of Hannibal; new second season of Freakshow.

Sony Max (DStv 128) is doing a Halloween month for October with special Halloween themed programming, including a marathon broadcast of the first season of Hannibal.

The first season of Hannibal with Mads Mikkelsen and Will Graham will be broadcast on Sony Max, starting on Friday, 31 October at 22:00, and continuing through on Saturday,1 November and Sunday 2 November.

The second season of Freakshow starts on Sony Max on Tuesday 21 October at 21:00. 

The second season of the gameshow Hole in the Wall just started on Mondays at 18:10.

A scary movie on Sony Max is Primal Force on Monday 27 October at 21:00, in which a private plane carrying the daughter of a businessman crash-lands on the uninhabited island of San Miguel off the coast of Mexico, an island the locals regard as cursed.

A rescue mission is dispatched to look for survivors, but the team first has to get past the population of mutant baboons.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MultiChoice may look to cut TV channels from the existing DStv offering due to the weakness of the South African rand.

MultiChoice could be considering cutting certain TV channels from its DStv service due to the weakeness of the South African rand.

The South African satellite pay-TV provider could possibly start cutting certain DStv channels from its offering to subscribers according to reports, since the South African rand makes it increasingly expensive to pay for the television content which MultiChoice has to do in dollars.

John Kotsaftis, the CEO of DStv Digital Media said that the South African rand is "a big problem" for the pay-TV provider due to the weakness of the South African currency.

MultiChoice could therefore start to possibly consider scaling back by dropping existing TV channels which are not performing and which attract only a small number of viewers. "It's not looking good," said John Kotsaftis, noting that the pay-TV provider is "far more cautious than we used to be".

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BREAKING. Boomerang on DStv relaunching globally as an animation TV channel for families and kids; will change in South Africa early 2015.

Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) is relaunching Boomerang (DStv 302) , ione of its animation TV channel on MultiChoice's DStv, with a new logo and a bigger focus on family viewing.

Boomerang is Turner's animation kids channel which didn't experience an embarrassing black out this past Saturday on MultiChoice's DStv like its other kids channel, Cartoon Network which both Turner Broadcasting and MultiChoice has so far been completely silent about.

It's not yet clear when Boomerang will be changing for South African and African viewers on DStv but it will be sometime early in 2015 says Turner.

The new-look Boomerang launched in September in Latin America and will change in Australia in early November.

Turner says the new Boomerang will include content that include "iconic, beloved cartoons" as well as "acquired regional and local animated favourites".

Turner wants to position Boomerang as a stronger and better brand, as its "second flagship kids brand" after Cartoon Network, and as a "global, all-animation, youth-targeted network, repositioned with a line-up of timeless and contemporary cartoons programmed for family co-viewing".

Turner Broadcasting System International president Gerhard Zeiler says Boomerang will draw on the vast resources of "the world's largest animation library" consisting of Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network and MGM studios television and theatrical shorts, series and specials, so that Boomerang's schedule will be filled with timeless favourites like Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes, The Powerpuff Girls and Scooby-Doo.

As part of the relaunch Boomerang will have a new on-air look and logo and offer "original content on the network across its 13 international feeds".

"The relaunch of Boomerang as a second flagship channel is a testament to its global appeal," says Gerhard Zeiler.

"We are extremely proud to see this channel move into its next incarnation - with a look and feel that conveys its quality and contemporary position. This represents a further step in our strategy to build on the success of our international kids' network," says Gerhard Zeiler.

Public embarrassment as SABC's lying chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala wants parliament's inquiry into her to be postponed yet again.

The SABC's lying chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala remains mired in public embarrassment as she tried yet again, for yet another time, on Tuesday to try and delay parliament's inquiry into her apparently bogus claims of UNISA qualifications she had been exposed months ago for not having.

On Tuesday Ellen Zandile Tshabalala's advocate Norman Arendse asked parliament's portfolio committee on communications, the committee tasked with oversight of the SABC, to postpone the inquiry.

A UNISA representative was sitting ready in parliament, ready to testify to Ellen Zandile Tshabalala's lack of qualifications at UNISA.

It was yet another postponement request by Ellen Zandile Tshabalala who refuses to provide any proof that she has a B.Com and a postgraduate diploma in labour relations which UNISA says she doesn't have.

The committee already granted several postponements and extensions to the controversial chairperson who've raked in hundreds of thousands of rands in multiple SABC board meetings since her appointment late last year, and who has been a staunch defender of the SABC's equally controversial and famously matricless chief operating officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

Members of parliament are furious with Ellen Zandile Tshabalala blasting her for her "delaying tactics".

Ellen Zandile Tshabalala has tried to wiggle her way out of providing answers and responding to calls regarding her non-existing UNISA qualifications for months since it was exposed that UNISA has no record of her obtaining the qualifications she claimed.

"There's one thing we want. If you have those qualifications, why must we postpone to another day," asked ANC MP Maesela Kekana today in parliament. "We are tired of these people who make this beautiful republic to be a banana republic."

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi told Ellen Zandile Tshabalala: "We are inquiring a simple thing. Do you or do you not have the qualifications? Don't waste our time. Answer the question."

"It was clear from the outset that Ellen Zandile Tshabalala had no intention of using the inquiry to clear her name today," said Democratic Alliance MP Gavin Davis.

"Ellen Zandile Tshabalala has a very simple question to answer: did she lie about her qualifications or not? If she did not, all she needs to do is produce evidence of her qualifications, as she has repeatedly been asked to do".

"We believe Ellen Zandile Tshabalala has been given ample time - three weeks - to prepare for it and there is therefore no reason for the delay. We will continue to participate in the process to ensure that justice is done in this matter," says Gavin Davis.

People who lie on their CV to parliament can be found guilty of perjury and could face criminal conviction.

Ellen Zandile Tshabalala swore before a commissioner of oaths that her qualifications were stolen during a burglary more than 10 years ago - yet lost and stolen qualifications can be verified by tertiary education institutions who hold the original records.

Ellen Zandile Tshabalala also told outh Africa's parliament's National Assembly and parliament's communications portfolio committee that she had these qualifications when she applied to become SABC chairperson.

SABC's lying chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala in for a grilling today as parliament starts an inquiry into her claimed qualifications.

The SABC's lying chairperson Ellen Zandile Tshabalala who after months failed to produce any proof of the tertiary qualifications she claimed to have had, is in for a grilling today as parliament's portfolio committee on communications, tasked with oversight of the SABC, starts an inquiry into her conduct.

The controversial Ellen Zandile Tshabalala with ties to close ties to president Jacob Zuma and who is ironically also serving as a director on the board of the Moral Regeneration Movement, has not been suspended nor voluntary stepped down or resigned and has presided since the end of 2013 over a beleaguered South African public broadcaster which continues to be lurching from one crisis to the next, riddled in mismanagement.

Ellen Zandile Tshabalala, according to the SABC's latest annual report of 2013/2014, was paid R936 000 for presiding over a staggering 34 SABC board meetings and attending 36 SABC board committee meetings – getting paid R13 371 per meeting.

Ellen Zandile Tshabalala offered no proof of having the B.Com degree and a postgraduate diploma in labour relations from Unisa she claimed to have had - indeed Unisa says the university has no record of her having such qualifications.

People who lie on their CV to parliament can be found guilty of perjury and could face criminal conviction.

Ellen Zandile Tshabalala allegedly lied before a commissioner of oaths that her qualifications were stolen during a burglary more than 10 years ago.

Then Ellen Zandile Tshabalala allegedly also lied to South Africa's parliament's National Assembly and parliament's communications portfolio committee that she had these qualifications when she applied to become SABC chairperson.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Starz to launch a new video-on-demand (VOD) service, Starz Play, in Africa and other continents, bringing new content to TV viewers.

The American pay-TV broadcaster Starz announced that it will soon be launching its video-on-demand (VOD) service, entitled Starz Play, internatinoally in Africa as well as on other continents, a move which will bring yet more new TV content to to viewers.

It's not yet clear whether Starz Play would be available in South Africa, although very likely, given that country has the most sophisticated TV market on the continent.

Starz Play would join a quickly getting crowded field of video-on-demand services who are trying to lure viewers with Times Media Group's VIDI and Altech's expensive decoder the Altech Node which recently commenced services, and with MobileTV promising to launch its new service TV4U on 1 February 2015.

They join MultiChoice's existing DStv Catch Up and DStv BoxOffice VOD services, which are starting to bring traditional, linear TV viewers more choices as over-the-top (OTT) video streaming services now start to be rolled out.

Starz Play will be made available in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America according to London's Financial Times on Sunday since the company wants to build an international business.

Like VIDI, Starz Play requires and makes use of Microsoft Silverlight.

Starz run several TV shows South African and African viewers have not yet seen and which hasn't been picked up by M-Net any of the TV channels on MultiChoice's DStv, On Digital Media's StarSat or Platco Digital's OpenView HD like risque drama Black Sails filmed in South Africa and renewed for a third season, Power, Outlander, Spartacus and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, The White Queen or Magic City.