Tuesday, August 2, 2016

BrandsEye media analysis reveals ANN7's 'pro-ANC bias' as it ignores EFF party; while News24, TimesLive and ANN7 pay least attention to the DA party.

It is the Gupta-owned TV news channel ANN7 (DStv 405), not the SABC's SABC News that is showing the most pro-ANC bias in its news reporting ahead of Wednesday's municipal elections, media analytics firm BrandsEye has found, while coverage of the EFF party on ANN7 "barely exists".

According to political analyst Stef Terblanche who looked at BrandsEye's data, "South African voters are not really being the full or accurate picture ahead of Wednesday".

"If the Democratic Alliance (DA) thought it was getting a raw deal from the SABC – about which the party loudly complained – it should think again," says Stef Terblanche.

"It would seem that the real culprit and leader in projecting pro-ANC bias, is the Gupta-owned ANN7 24-hour news channel."

"On the other hand, the SABC's election coverage more or less mirrors that of the other main online media organisations in volume distribution. All media are covering the ANC disproportionately more than other political parties".

A startling fact emerging from BrandsEye's media research is that in ANN7's coverage, EFF leader Julius Malema and his party barely exist.

"While the party gets some mention from ANN7, Malema gets none. In contrast, ANN7 gives by far the most coverage to both president Jacob Zuma and the ANC".

In June the Democratic Alliance said it was considering legal action against the SABC after determining that the ANC received disproportionately higher coverage than other political parties. It said the ANC had received nearly three times more coverage than the DA and four and a half times as much coverage than the EFF.

However, among the top 6 online media organisations monitored by BrandsEye – SABC, IOL, News24, TimesLive, BDLive and ANN7 – it is ANN7 which devoted the highest coverage to the ANC at 68%, with TimesLive and News24 jointly second at 60% each and the SABC third only with 59%. This includes both negative and positive coverage.

In the case of ANN7 most of its coverage of the ANC was positive.

The DA received its highest coverage, but most of it negative, from IOL.

Out of the 6 online media entities, News24, TimesLive and ANN7 paid the least attention to the DA according to BrandsEye's media analysis, while the EFF received its lowest coverage from ANN7 at a mere 4% and it highest coverage from the SABC, IOL and News24 at 13% each.

As far as party leaders go, president Jacob Zuma received almost the same coverage as his party from the media, with DA leader Mmusi Maimane receiving slightly less coverage than his party, and Julius Malema receiving almost double the coverage his party received.

The odd one out was once again ANN7, whose coverage of president Jacob Zuma towered over the rest at 71%, but who made no mention of Julius Malema at all, according to BrandsEye.