Friday, August 30, 2013

GOLDEN COUPLE. South African TV news' best TV news couple - eNCA's Iman Rappetti and Jeremy Maggs - also colour co-ordinate.

There's zero chance that it's co-incidence and as Iman Rappetti and Jeremy Maggs of NewsNight on eNCA (DStv 403) continue to shine as they set the brilliant benchmark for what is the best in all of South African television news broadcasting, something else is also very clear: they take time to colour co-ordinate.

On Friday evening on NewsNight, with South Africa in the grip of a cold front, the veritable TV news GoPro's Iman Rappetti and Jeremy Maggs glowed golden on South African TV screens - she in yellow, and he in gold.

When they care who make television, we care. And when its clear that it isn't just about showing up to bring the news but that there's small touches of thought and intent before they move behind the anchor desk, viewers - often unconsciously - stick around and watch.

With Iman Rappetti and Jeremy Maggs NewsNight on eNCA just feels right. Not just for credible news done right but for TV news anchors who are credible even to the point of making sure they don't clash on the air as far as their clothes are concerned.

Iman Rappetti beamed on Friday night in yellow with a locket; Jeremy Maggs' beautiful golden tie perfectly complemented. The image eNCA beamed to viewers? Perfect professionalism.

With faultless pronunciation, visible preparation which went into what they're doing, seamless sharing, smart banter, and looking as if they're really having fun at work doing real journalism while they run through the day's serious news stories and events of importance, Iman Rappetti and Jeremy Maggs are clearly, definitely, the golden couple of South African television news.

eNCA's harrowing (and well done) but wholly inappropriately scheduled short form mortuary documentary, Voice for the Dead, shocks with timing.

It's as harrowing to watch as it's good; it a seldom reported topic as it's sadly hidden away by society; it's pale, unvarnished and brutal television and it's well told - but eNCA's (DStv 403) short form documentary Voice for the Dead: The Real CSI by Annika Larsen is wholly inappropriately scheduled and is shockingly shown on South African television at completely unsuitable times - despite a "graphic visuals" warning.

eNCA and couldn't be bothered to do 1% publicity or marketing around Annika Larsen's latest documentary on the 24-hour TV news channel and as usual for eNCA programming, failed to tell the press or TV critics anything about it.

What it means is that less people who might have been interested and could or would have watched, will even know about it to tune in.

Yet Voice for the Dead: The Real CSI is well done hard news reporting done documentary style in which Annika Larsen ventured inside one of the world's busiest mortuaries for a 20 minute programme.

The programme makes for excruciatingly painful television as she uncovers and shows a side to South African life which the majority of society blissfully choose to ignore.

Voice for the Dead: The Real CSI follows the women like dr. Linda Liebenberg, forensic pathologist and prof. Lorna Martin, the head of forensic pathology who work in the Salt River State Mortuary. The documentary body is well done and structured, with exceptional interviews with all the key players.

It's a story which could perfectly play on M-Net's Carte Blanche and if this is the calibre of programming eNCA will include when the channel launches its own new investigative magazine show before the end of the year, it will make for absolutely perfect and terrific current affairs television with gravitas.

However... The scheduling on eNCA is shocking and leaves a lot to be desired.

How eNCA can show this level of gruesome and gory, real-life death and cold end-of-life dissection during the morning, afternoon, mid-afternoon and late afternoon when those who still watch Pokemon can also see this, is shocking, quite unprofessional and disappointing.

Due to the nature of the subject - for mature audiences and definitely not for children and due to the graphic nature of the images (which yes, in a documentary or story such as this needs to be shown and is integral to the story) - it is completely wrong for the eNCA to show it beyond late evening and late night timeslot - for instance anything after 20:00.

It is unconscionable for the eNCA to show Voice for the Dead: The Real CSI while children are still likely to possibly tune in and see it.

Why the eNCA cannot keep a mature, cold and clinical subject with dead bodies, brains on a stainless steel basin and other horrors confined to after the watershed time period on South African television is mind-boggling. It's news yes, but its not breaking news.

Voice for the Dead: The Real CSI (let me do and the eNCA's publicity work for them since they clearly can't care less) can still be seen on Friday at 21:40 (a more appropriate time), Saturday at 08:40 (insanity!), 12:40, 16:40, 23:10 and on Sunday at 07:40, 14:40 and 19:40.

BREAKING. Mzansi Bioskop launching as a new DStv channel from M-Net on 10 September on channel 164 at 18:00.

Mzansi Bioskop (DStv 164) will start as a new 24-hour African movie channel on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform on 10 September TV with Thinus can report from sources who confirm the news.

The news of Mzansi Bioskop starting a yet another of the "Mzansi" channels produced and packaged by M-Net for MultiChoice was first scooped by TVSA today, reporting that Mzansi Bioskop will be "dedicated to airing locally produced films".

Sources tell me Mzansi Bioskop is set to go live on 10 September at 18:00.

As per TVSA who first reported it, my sources confirm: the set of Lokshin Bioscope films - made on the cheap African films - will premiere on this channel first before moving to the other "Mzansi" themed specialist channels from M-Net.

No word yet on which of all of the DStv bouquets Mzansi Bioskop will be available.

South African cameraman Adil Bradlow and Al Jazeera journalists detained by Egyptian authorities; Al Jazeera demands release.

The South African cameraman Adil Bradlow and Al Jazeera journalists are being detained by Egyptian authorities with Al Jazeera (TopTV 401 / DStv 406) demanding their unconditional release.

"Al Jazeera calls for the Egyptian authorities to release all our staff unconditionally along with their belongings and equipment," says Al Jazeera in a statement.

The Al Jazeera staffers - Adil Bradlow, producers Russ Finn, Baher Mohammed and Al Jazeera English's Bangkok based correspondent Wayne Hay - were detained while covering the ongoing crisis in Cairo in Egypt following the military coup.

The arrests are part of what Reporters Without Borders has called "growing hostility" towards journalists in Egypt.

The arrest follow the detainment of Al Jazeera correspondent Abdullah al-Shami who was arrested on 14 August, along with Mohamed Badr, a cameraman for Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr who has been held for more than one month.

The AP is reporting that the Egyptian government is considering a ban on Al Jazeera's local affiliate for what the government claims are "rumours and claims which are harmful to Egyptian national security and threaten the country's unity."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

ANN7: TV news insanity as out-of-sync graphic, video, and what the news reader is talking about, are all part of 3 very different stories at once.

The sad-oh-so-bad ANN7 (DStv 405) on Tuesday evening ran an on-screen bumper graphic, a video, and a news reader reading text - with all three parts which were elements of three different stories.

Neither the bumper, nor the video (which also got stuck) nor what the news reader was reading had any correlation to each other. I unfortunately can't show you the video clip as part of a news story about it, Aiplex Software will likely order it remove as it has done in an attempt to eradicate online video of ANN7 news bloopers.

If you can get through to the ANN7 news room, please tell someone that "seeked" is not a word. "Sought" is. At least "employment" is correct; earlier on Tuesday it was "empoyment".

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ANN7: SABC TV staff says: 'Now we know for the first time the feeling of how it is to be an M-Net.'

Workers at the SABC are speaking out about the new South African TV competitor - the shocking train wreck television which is the new wannabe TV news channel ANN7 (DStv 405) ... and they feel relieved they're no longer perceived as the worst in South African television broadcasting.

 Although not referencing ANN7 directly in conversations, SABC insiders say that [for once] it makes them feel good and proud to work for the South African public broadcaster's television service and that they don't feel like the scapegoat for bad television output anymore.

The South African public broadcaster's television output and TV news is hardly what TV critics would describe as Emmy winning quality, but compared to the disaster caster ANN7 (DStv 405) which launched last Wednesday evening on MultiChoice's DStv platform, SABC television news and TV in a sense comes across as CNN and HBO like compared to ANN7.

Longtime SABC insiders told TV with Thinus today there's no gloating and "nobody's happy or taking delight in someone's failure". The source said a lot of SABC workers took notice of the Gupta News upstart. "What happened and keeps happening is everywhere."

I'm told they think - and so their colleagues - that the broadcasting corporation they work for, now compares very favourably stacked against "new entrants trying to do what we've done daily for decades. People can now see what really goes into doing a day and how much can go wrong".

As one interestingly put it to me in a pithy way: "Now we know for the first time the feeling of how it is to be an M-Net. When you see all the production errors you shake your head but you know you're not at the bottom. No-one here's looking down on anybody at all. But we're not last in this game anymore".

The source meant it in the way in which the SABC has for decades been compared as the underdog, or the lesser quality TV provider compared to rivals such as the pay-TV broadcaster M-Net which has better TV content and less on-air mistakes across its channels.

The SABC launched its own 24-hour TV news channel at the beginning of August on DStv channel 404 (which is now directly next to ANN7's channel 405) two weeks before ANN7.

Although the SABC News channel's product was also panned, South Africa's third TV news channel from Infinity Media took bad South African television and bad South African TV news to a whole new bottom-of-the-barrel scraping level.

"We've had mistakes but thank God we're not trending with it," said another longtime SABC employee - referring to how ANN7, seemingly broken out of the box, started trending as South Africa's number one Twitter topic on social media due to the barrage of on-air bloopers.

"The broadcaster [SABC] has also been affected by juniorisation; actually more so by the loss of older skilled people who've become fed up and left the past decade but somehow there's always the few veterans - core pockets of experienced TV people - who remain the gatekeepers and victims for punishment," said yet another longtime SABC employee who weighed in today and laughed.

"Every day has its own crazy. Somehow the golden oldies [at the SABC] keep a lot of sh*t from happening or every going out," shared the person.

ANN7: Sasha Martinengo calls ANN7 trash television 'unacceptable' and says 'take it off'. AND he has the new trainwreck clip I can't show you.

Here's is the shocking SHOCKING ANN7 trainwreck TV clip I can't show you, but which I described and analysed earlier today and which was broadcast by ANN7 - with my conclusion as a South African TV critic that this horrific so-called TV news reader is the worst of the worst at the pathetic TV trash TV news station on DStv.

MultiChoice and Infinity Media launched ANN7 on Wednesday evening on the DStv pay-TV platform, flooding channel 405 on DStv with a cringe worthy barrage of sub standard terrible television trash which is shocking South African TV viewers.

Sasha Martinengo says ANN7's broadcast is "unacceptable" after he saw exactly what I did on ANN7 on Monday night. He says: "Take it off."

Sasha Martinengo has the exact new clip of the ANN7 footage I monitored and spoke of.

He is in the same disbelief and utter shock as a person in broadcasting and South African media over the deplorably bad standard of television, TV presenting and presenters on the channel known as "GuptaTV" and "Gupta News".

ANN7 model presenter lashes out at critics, vents in a Facebook post; admits there's a 'vast number of errors and mistakes' on ANN7.

The ANN7 model presenter Sheena Deepnarain is lashing out at critics of the disastrous ANN7 24-hour TV news channel from Infinity Media but admits "there is a vast number of errors and mistakes".

ANN7 (DStv 405) started on MultiChoice's DStv platform with ongoing and highly embarrassing mistakes last Wednesday and now Sheena Deepnarain is venting in a Facebook rant about the "cynicism" over ANN7, saying ANN7 "value valid critics".

In a post on Facebook which Sheena Deepnarain says she "just needed to get it out there", she says people are making fun of ANN7 but fails to address why:

"With all the cynicism going around #ANN7 at this point I’ve decided to add my bit, read it, don’t read it, take from it or don’t I just needed to get it out there.

For the record I am proud to be apart of ANN7 – Channel 405DSTV.

Having worked in the industry for just over a decade, my industry friends and I know how difficult the road has been, not because thereisn’t talent out there but because the opportunities are few and far apart.

There was a need for someone or some company to take that chance and invest in the youth of the media and entertainment industry and that was ANN7.

And for that I am grateful to ANN7 and admire ANN7.

Let me explain…

Take a bunch of graduates from a graduate class at an artsand culture college for example in South Africa.

Say 20 graduated, how many are actually working in the industry that they planned to work in? In entertainment, probably 2 -5 out of 20, because in this industry, there are not enough opportunities, and with the cost of living out there, hustling isn’t an option for many, we need some sort of stable income.

A lot of people who invest years of going to auditions, studying drama, journalism etc. turn to other careers, not because they want to but because they sadly have to.

ANN7 believed in the youth and went on a massive recruitment campaign to hire graduates within the industry and invest in them and provide them with a much-needed platform. They were the ones who took this chance andare also getting the negative that goes with it, but still they stand by our careers and us.

Whilst there is a vast number of errors and mistakes, South Africa is really watching ANN7 revolutionize an industry that needed it,mistakes and all.

In a few years down the line, when the channel has overcome this negative road and is successful, which I do believe it will be, the people who stood by it would stand by the saying “Stand for something, or fall for anything.” And I stand for ANN7 along with the rest of the hardworking team of ANN7.

At ANN7 we value valid critics.

But like a lot of what is going on, is that people are making fun of News Anchors, Presenters etc., who were brave enough to put their heads on the line and pave the path for others to follow down the line and this saddens me.

Even though you spend years studying, theory for me in this industry probably gets you to complete 20% of the job, the rest (80%) is achieved by practicality. Most aren’t exposed to practicality and now that they are given the opportunity the country sits back and laughs when really these young people should be encouraged as they will only improve with practice as it comes by being provided with this opportunity.

With all that said, say what you want now about ANN7,comment, hate but ANN7 is the start of great things to come…."

ANN7: Worst news reader of the lot on DStv's third local news channel can't read or pronounce; creates non-sensical sentences as she bumbles on.

We have a winner! So intensely bad is this ANN7 news reader on Gupta News that barely anything she says makes sense. Watch this face. Remember it. When you see her, remember: Nothing will make sense, but you do NOT have Aphasia.

I cannot currently show you a clip under fair use on YouTube to illustrate and report on news - Aiplex Software might likely have it "censored" and scrubbed from the interwebs on behalf of Infinity Media which runs the disastrously bad ANN7 (DStv 405) news channel on DStv - but it's epically bad.

It's so bad, that at the end, once again someone from the ANN7 news studio floor, or perhaps the control room (and who is not supposed to be heard, is audible in another technical mistake and can be heard with an exasperated voice going:  "What??!")

I cannot show you the hilarious clip which will take your breath away, but this ANN7 news reader is in my estimation the worst of the entire bunch - yet bestowed with the formerly respected position of sitting behind the anchor desk.

While autocue and Teleprompter issues are certainly partly to blame for ANN7's disastrous launch and deplorably bad ongoing on-air appearance, its clear that this news reader cannot correctly pronounce - or perhaps have never seen - certain words.

"Misuse" (practised on-air as "masseuse"), "barrel" pronounced as "bar", "gathered" as "governed" - and haltering, stuttering, faltering reading and terrible on-air delivery, sees her create whole sentences which makes no sense at all .

It gets this ANN7 news reader a Gupta gold star for worst of the worst.

Monday, August 26, 2013

ANN7: Our girl thinks she's on Top Billing; can't speak but says goodbye with a wink of the eye and a 'Good night, God bless'.

Our girl thinks she's Bonang Matheba on Top Billing and although she can't speak properly and stumbles over her words, the ANN7 news reader bid viewers goodbye on the air with an informal wink of the eye. 

I cannot show you video. Although it's fair use for news purposes, Aiplex Software might likely "censor" it on behalf of ANN7 (DStv 405) and try to scrub the deplorably bad examples of MultiChoice's third local TV news channel on DStv from the interwebs.

But believe me when I tell you ANN7 is bad. Very bad. And that the trash television on channel 405 on DStv, worse than the very worse the SABC ever dredged up, continues relentlessly.

Unintentionally hilarious as all the ANN7 on-air unprofessionalism and mistakes seen on DStv to date, our girl who comes across as trying to emulate Bonang Matheba in a Top Billing style, but Bonang Matheba reading the news, fumbles her words, and then in a totally inappropriate, too familiar for the anchor desk style, winks as if she's signing off from a weekly glamarama magazine show.

"See you, on, the uh-, ah, other side. Good night and God bless." (wink)

The sad thing is we're not seeing this on the other side but on a 24-hour TV news channel with a very big problem when it comes to news readers, technical quality and on-air standards - not just an embarrassement for Infinity Media, but for South Africa.

Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown renewed for a second season on CNN International; will start on 16 September at 17:00.

Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown has been renewed for a second season on CNN International (DStv 401) which will include an episode in the new upcoming season filmed in South Africa.

The second season of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown will start on 16 September on CNN International on Fridays at 17:00 (repeated on Saturdays at 21:00 and Mondays at 03:00).

The second season premiere episode entitled "Jerusalem" will visit Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Anthony Bourdain will also visit Spain (22 September), New Mexico (29 September), Copenhagen, Sicily, Detroit, Tokyo and South Africa.

YouTube disables fair use clips of ANN7 on-air mishaps after Aiplex Software claims infringement; counter-notification filed with YouTube.

"1.2 million people hugry in die for republican south"...

I can't you you clips, so an image with horrible mistakes such as with this story will have to do for now.

YouTube has disabled (meaning it's not watchable) fair use clips taken by cellphones of the ongoing and multiple on-air gaffes by the new ANN7 (DStv 405) channel on MultiChoice's DStv.

It happened on Sunday evening (South African time), after Aiplex Software using a gmail address, claimed on Sunday evening that the material is infringing, using YouTube's pro forma copyright notification infringement form of YouTube website.

Since YouTube's default instant action is to remove clips automatically when it receives any kind of copyright infringement, the clips are disabled for now.

TV with Thinus has immediately filed a counter-notification with YouTube, also using YouTube's counter-notification page.

A counter-notification could take up to 10 days to resolve.

That means that it could take up to 10 days before the videos in question could be enabled again on YouTube. That's why you suddenly won't find any ANN7 clips on YouTube.

Once clips are restored I will report on that as a journalist and as a TV critic, as I have comprehensively reported and shown what is wrong, and going wrong with the TV channel.

It's very quick to get YouTube or Facebook to remove something someone wants to be removed. And that is actually correct and a good thing.

What's not so nice is when something is removed which is actually fair use as far as journalistic enterprise is concerned or not copyright infringement, but which then takes time to get restored.

The fair use clips - recorded to show the mistakes and sub standard quality of broadcasting of a factual news TV channel - have been recorded by TV with Thinus with cellphone camera. Other people also had their similarly recorded on cellphone clips, even less well done ones, disabled by YouTube through a quick-to-do few clicks.

In effect all ANN7 blooper clips have been censored off of YouTube on Sunday evening.

You can however watch bloopers of multiple other TV news channels from around the world which all remain on YouTube - clips which are directly captured TV feeds and not even cellphone video.

I'm not sure whether others are also filing counter-notifications with YouTube to have their clips enabled again, but I believe the clips should be restored.

As a longtime journalist and TV critic in South Africa I believe the short clips illustrate as a news story and a public talking point of discussion (the avalanche of comments proof its news and is being talked about), a legitimate issue and news story and that it constitutes what is known in the news business and journalism as "fair use".

None of the clips found and uploaded onto YouTube are even direct TV feeds, but very short clips most under 60 seconds long, which absolutely constitutes fair use as it demonstrates and illustrates real-life events as part of a newsworthy event happening.

As a journalist of 14 years and as a TV critic covering TV and the television industry in South Africa I firmly believe the clips need to be seen and are fair use in terms of news coverage.

What does YouTube say about copyright, and is it possible to use a copyright-protected work without infringing?

As YouTube stipulates, the videos have not been uploaded for monetary gain but to inform, and they were recorded off of TV by cellphones and represent small chunks of content, given the amount of content available.

Nobody is stealing or trying to steal a total performance, concert or artistic, creative work,or trying to pass it off as their work.

The video clips constitute fair use and here is what YouTube says factor in whether something is "fair use":

- The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes, says YouTube.

(Clearly the aim here was and is to educate and inform - yes, and even have a good laugh - at the perceived level of quality of a service. I believe it's in the public interest to see what the channel is doing and is broadcasting publicly.)

- Using material from primarily factual works is more likely to be fair than using purely fictional works, says YouTube. (The clips are of a 24-hour news channel. Nobody is recording a concert. And even if it was a concert, if the artist makes a mistake or falls off the stage, that is newsworthy and showable!)

- The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole. Borrowing small bits of material from an original work is more likely to be considered fair use than borrowing large portions. However, even a small taking may weigh against fair use in some situations if it constitutes the "heart" of the work, says YouTube.

Not one of the clips recorded and uploaded are even more than a minute and a half long, if even a minute.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

ANN7 weather girl Surita Smit embarrassingly calls Johannesburg 'The Mother City' in her weather report.

The ANN7 weather girl Surita Smit cheerily - yet mistakenly - calls Johannesburg "The Mother City" in yet another embarrassing ANN7 on-air fail - "Mother City" is in fact the moniker used for Cape Town.

ANN7 from Infinity Media, South Africa's third 24-hour TV news channel, which MultiChoice launched on its DStv platform on Wednesday, has instantly become the laughing stock of South African television for the ongoing, numerous and highly embarrassing mistakes from the unprofessional and amateur TV news outfit.

The ongoing on-air mistakes has scarred ANN7's non-existent credibility with viewers who can't really trust anything due to the accuracy problems, spelling mistakes and litany of technical snafus which have engulfed the TV news channel known as "GuptaTV" and "Gupta News".

The politically connected Gupta family are investors in Infinity Media, together Duduzane Zuma, president Jacob Zuma's son, are investors in Infinity Media.

ALSO READ: Surita Smit as new ANN7 weather girlpops as an on-screen Tally Atwater, Kulula flight attendant who've ran away to do television.

Idols on M-Net adds judges' interviews - similar to American Idol - for the first time to Hell Week in Sun City for the reality show's 9th season.

Despite multiple requests the past week which M-Net's publicity machine couldn't be bothered to even respond to, it's clear that the 9th season of Idols will also be showing from Sunday that it has also adopted the American Idol content change where the judges sit and interview contestants during the second phase known as Hollywood Week in America and Hell Week in South Africa.

M-Net's didn't respond to media enquiries seeking clarity about the Idols change to include this portion.

In this further evolution, the judges sit on a black platform interviewing contestants who walk in (and walk out) with trepidation, but its clear that it will be seen from the Sun City round of episodes which will start to be shown from Sunday 25 August.

Since M-Net didn't bother to respond to a media enquiry about it it's not clear until when channel 199 as the Idols Extra channel will be running on MultiChoice's DStv, which is showing supplementary Idols programming such as the Golden Ticket winners, Wooden Mic contenders.

Carte Blanche's 25th anniversary special broadcast on M-Net on 1 September coming from atop Africa's tallest structure, the Hillbrow Tower.

It will literally be breath taking.

A dare not miss South African television event is happening next Sunday when Carte Blanche on M-Net will be celebrating its monumental 25th anniversary with a special episode broadcasting from atop the tallest structure in all of Africa on 1 September at 19:00 from atop the 269 story high Hillbrow Towers.

Carte Blanche, M-Net's acclaimed and longrunning weekly investigative magazine show produced by Combined Artistic Productions is having its silver anniversary this coming Sunday 1 September.

Carte Blanche will then be done from the top of the Telkom Jo'burg Tower which has been closed for the public for the past 30 years since 1981.

Carte Blanche will reveal its brand-new "transparent glass" on-air look in keeping with its motto of "the right to see it all",

Carte Blanche will then also officially unveil the book Carte Blanche 25 Years - The Stories Behind the Stories from the Carte Blanche super producer Jessica Pitchford.

Besides the special and very historic 25th Carte Blanche broadcast during which viewers will meet some of the show's top investigative journalists (Is former co-anchor Ruda Landman set for a surprise appearance? The show is mum.), the show will remember highlights, give away a car, and 25 copies of Carte Blanche 25 Years - The Stories Behind the Stories.

"Many aspects of South African life have come and gone over the past 25 years, but not Carte Blanche" says the show.

Carte Blanche has perennially remained the number one show on M-Net as far as viewership is concerned (sometimes jumping to number two when Franz Marx produced soap Egoli was still on), constantly claiming the top spot week after week on the list of M-Net's top ten most watched TV programmes.

"We have a remarkable team," says longtime Carte Blanche executive producer George Mazarakis. "Together they have won 162 awards, influenced government, changed laws and sparked popular debate. In a fight, these are the people I would want to have on my side."

ANN7: Former eNCA reporter Peter Stemmet never had to deal on-air with technical problems with a reporter in a Soweto shebeen.

"Benjamin can you hear me? " (Echo-ey:) "Live to him now ..."

Is Peter Stemmet, the eNCA (DStv 403) sports reporter who've dumped that South African 24-hour news channel to join Infinity Media's ANN7 (DStv 405) perhaps having second thoughts about how this channel jumping decision is impacting his career?

A barrage of on-air mistakes and ongoing technical mess-ups have engulfed ANN7 since MultiChoice added the channel on Wednesday to its DStv platform.

On Saturday afternoon Peter Stemmet - who've never had to deal with a reporter in a shebeen before during his time at eNCA - sat in full view of viewers on ANN7 as sound and technical problems created yet another cringe moment on live TV.

Watch the awkwardness and Peter Stemmet and the dismissive wave of his hand as if wanting to slide the bad away. "What we'll do, is just move on."

ANN7: 'We seem to have a slight technical problem. Benjamin what is the atmosphere like out there ...' ANN7's technical stuff-ups continue.

The cringe factor on the worst TV news South African television has ever seen continues on ANN7 (DStv 405) without end, as inexperienced news readers are embarrassed on-air due to ongoing, terrible technical mistakes making for an unbelievable array of public blunders.

ANN7 continues to make for hilarious and sad moments on "GuptaTV" or Gupta News" as the mediocre TV news channel - South Africa's third 24-hour TV news channel - has become known as since it started with haphazard broadcasts filled with mistakes.

Infinity Media's 24-hour TV news channel which MultiChoice's launched on Wednesday evening on its DStv satellite pay-TV platform has since delivered ongoing disaster filled television.

Unexperienced news readers, technical mistakes and on-air incompetence are combining to not just make viewers laugh but hugely damage the reputation, credibility and image of ANN7 and Infinity Media right from the start.

In the clip above of ANN7 of coverage taken from Saturday, its self-evident how massive sound problems and technical sound engineering incompetence continues to have a huge negative impact on the terrible on-air quality of ANN7's news product.

A live cross-over to an ANN7 reporter doesn't work, with the technical on-air mess making for not just an uncomfortable news reader but also uncomfortable viewing.

Look at the further cringe worthy and embarrassing litany of technical mistakes on ANN7 in the clip below, also from Saturday, showing how pervasive and across the board the totality of amateur output the DStv news channel is from its headquarters in Midrand:

Notice the ANN7 news reader's faltering delivery. Notice the ongoing, disturbing sound equalisation problems easily solved on modern sound desks by adjusting the highs and mids.

Notice how the ANN7 news reader is reading and suddenly the packaged insert starts while's she's still speaking.

Notice the unintentional irony of the ANN7 news reader saying "leaves a lot to be desired" just before the clip play-out of the sports package interrupts her.

Notice how the sound of the play-out then fluctuates, how the sound completely disappears; how the clip abruptly stops and it all suddenly cuts back to the news reader.

Notice how (bizarrely!) the news reader - without even apologising or acknowledging the jumble of problems which makes for very jarring television for the ordinary TV viewer, makes as if it didn't/isn't happening, and tells readers to keep watching ANN7.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

ANN7: 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE HUGRY IN DIE FOR REPUBLICAN SOUTH. (You simply CANNOT make this trash television up.)

There's probably a reason why the unprofessional and seemingly incompetent news readers on DStv's latest TV news channel, the deplorably bad ANN7 (DStv 405) struggles to read: because Infinity Media's new TV new channel is staffed by people who can't spell.

Even ANN7's on-screen lower-third bumpers are riddled with not just spelling mistakes, but non-sensical sentences, such as this one ANN7 had on Saturday: "AGE OFFER TO STRIKING WORKERS - 1.2 MILLION PEOPLE HUGRY IN DIE FOR REPUBLICAN SOUTH."

In addition when this bumper flashed on screen as "Breaking News", it was even cut off on the left hand side of the screen, and is supposed to read "WAGE".

There's even a spelling mistake with "HUGRY" in the sentence (which makes no sense anyway) and which was probably supposed to be HUNGRY.

ANN7's lower-third bumpers also often drives into the image on the right hand side of the screen, where text then clash and overlaps on each other, making it illegible anyway.

And the ANN7 white on black news crawl at the bottom ... well, it crawls with constant and ongoing embarrassing spelling mistakes since MultiChoice launched ANN7 on DStv on Wednesday.

ANN7: 'Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!' Awful, ongoing, cringe inducing mistakes and problems engulf even Chantal Rutter Dros.

Not even the prime time news anchor of ANN7 (DStv 405), Chantal Rutter Dros, is being spared the huge public embarrassement and ongoing, utter cringefest of the trash television dished up by the technically incompetent and mistake riddled third South African TV news channel from Infinity Media on MultiChoice's DStv.

Even Chantal Rutter Dros who've defected from the acclaimed Carte Blanche on M-Net and who is a very capable on-air TV personality, on Friday evening in prime time, fell victim to the shockingly amateur and unprofessional ANN7 television news production play-out madness.

Shockingly low production values and myriad mistakes have been afflicting the news channel upstart since ANN7 launched on Wednesday evening.

Chantal Rutter Dros battled numerous, and ongoing embarrassing on-air technical mistakes on ANN7.

When even your prime time main news show of the day is a technical mess, you can't but think that ANN7 as a wannabe TV news channel comes across as broken right out of the box with this many ongoing mistakes and bad on-air quality on full display.

It's incredibly shocking to see MultiChoice and Infinity Media launch a 24-hour TV news channel which clearly isn't ready, clearly isn't capable of function on the bare standard minimum level of viewer quality, and is damaging its non-existent credibility.

Even Chantal Rutter Dros appears unable to smooth over the myriad mistakes, although she is valiantly able to hold her composure in the clip above on ANN7 when multiple things go wrong in less than a minute in ANN Headlines which is supposed to be ANN7's premiere prime time nightcast.

Chantal Rutter Dros is confronted with teleprompter mistakes, more teleprompter mistakes and audio problems. The sound is suddenly cut completely and which she wouldn't even know about, keeping her on mute after she's already started talking again.

Then there's the unintentional (cringe!), clueless text and script and packaged video mismatch at the end where Chantal Rutter Dros has to read "now there's fresh hope", followed by a crying Korean. It's jarring, it's shocking, its wholly unprofessional TV news.

In the clip below, from the same broadcast a little later, listen the the voice tonality change in Chantal Rutter Dros' voice.

Chantal Rutter Dros keeps her composure better than the rest of ANN7 news readers who've already flamed out on live television due to their lack of experience and big technical snafu's, but she desperate tries to signal through what she's saying not really the viewer at home but the floor and the control room for the headlines...

Headlines which doesn't happen. With a teleprompter not giving the script. With Chantal Rutter Dros then ad-libbing and killing time.

A little bit later again Chantal Rutter Dros has no idea that her mic remains live and that viewers can hear (terribly sad and unprofessional from ANN7) her speak over the video bumper as she thanks her in-studio guest. It's a moment where she's supposed to be off-air and the presenter's mic on mute but viewers hear everything.

This is just one primetime night's news show on ANN7 on Friday and filled with mistakes - as is basically every other ANN7 news hour. Which is why viewers are now describing this new DStv channel as true "train wreck television". One can clearly see why.

ALSO READ: ANN7: There's teething problems and then there's unmitigated TV trash - ANN7's on-air incompetence and amateurism is shocking to watch.
ALSO READ: ANN7 news reader sighs on-air, gives up and stops, after the technical mistakes and incompetence becomes just too much.
ALSO READ: ANN7 news readers - unable to read or pronunciate properly - are damaging the non-existent credibility of Africa News Network 7.

ANN7: Hola Weekend on ANN7 has such bad presenters and on-air presenting they wouldn't even cut it to do Sunday school class.

"Lots of drama to be expected!" says an overly-animated Arthur Mafokate on the cringe inducing Horrible Hola Weekend on ANN7 (DStv 405) - the train wreck of a South African TV news channel from Infinity Media on MultiChoice's DStv where the hot mess of amateur presenting continues on unabated.

Watch this film school students and then ask you lecturer what you need to do, to not go out into the professional world one day and be this ... terrible.

If this is what Hola Weekend is after dry-runs and weeks of practice and preparation in advance before this sadly, shoddy ANN7 news channel started on DStv, just imagine how it looked before.

Even campus radio DJs on the late night shift (and I talk from experience - I was a campus radio station manager and station director for a number of years at university) are better than this and have more co-presenting chemistry than this dished up TV trash.

Sad to say, but Hola Weekend on ANN7 wouldn't even make it as a kids show - although it seems to be more geared towards infantile children than covering sport.

SIGH. ANN7 news reader sighs on-air and stops after the technical incompetence and mistakes becomes too much to keep up appearances.

An ANN7 (DStv 405) news reader sighs on-air during yet another technical on-air mistake on MultiChoice's third 24-hour South African TV news channel on DStv.

The ANN7 news readers sighs, gives up and stops - probably resigned to the fact that she made a big mistake and career damaging decision going to work for total train wreck television which has become the laughing stock of South African viewers.

At the launch event, MultiChoice South Africa's group CEO Imtiaz Patel said that the satellite pay-TV operator has stringent quality controls for Infinity Media's ANN7 news channel.

Imtiaz Patel said that MultiChoice was very happy with the test broadcasts in the days before ANN7 launched on DStv on Wednesday evening.

The multiple and ongoing on-air mistakes and cringe worthy, embarrassing and far below par production values has now made ANN7 the worst TV channel launch in South African history, as well as the worst TV channel launch on DStv ever.

ALSO READ: ANN7: There's teething problems and then there's unmitigated TV trash - ANN7's on-air incompetence and amateurism is shocking to watch.

GOT THE T-SHIRT? ANN7's swag bag from its sh#tty launch event has a T-shirt, a notebook and a pen. Bless.

I've heard from people who all have a lot to say - nothing nice - about the event and the "swag" bags handed out at that cringe worthy launch event of the shambolic ANN7 (DStv 405) TV news channel, South Africa's third highly embarrassing local news channel which got off to a total train wreck start.

I'm told guests are enjoying their T-shirt, their notebook and their pen.

It was of course handed out at that event where ANN7 showed its empty chairs and tables of its own launch function held at the Sandton Convention centre which had the sign outside only reading: "Infinity Media dinner".

Yep - the one which Infinity Media and ANN7 couldn't bother to invite longtime South African TV critics, writers and journalists covering television, and editors of TV publications to or just at the very basic minimum even tell that its happening.

ANN7's pathetic "threatre of the absurd" launch event function as a news channel on MultiChoice's DStv platform broadcast live was massively marred by sound problems, awkward breaks and pauses, no apparent structure in terms of guests being interviewed, dead air, and background chatter audible.

Geri Rantseli-Elsdon valiantly tried her best but the avalanche of bad and unorganised was too much for even her. to try and contain.

The launch event speeches were filled with cringe worthy bombastic boastful statements from people like Jimmy Manyi who will attempt a new talk show, STRAIGHTtalk on ANN7 on Saturdays, talking about how South Africa's will from now on just be rushing home or staying home to watch ANN7. (yes, probably to see the trash television and play drinking games when on-screen errors occur!)

Friday, August 23, 2013

ANN7: There's teething problems and then there's unmitigated TV trash - ANN7 on-air incompetence and amateurism is shocking to watch.

There's teething problems and then there's unvarnished trash television - like Africa News Network 7 (ANN7) the new wannabe 24-hour TV news channel from Infinity Media which started on Wednesday evening on MultiChoice's DStv platform on channel 405.

This true train-wreck television on DStv which launched with an embarrassingly mistakes filled broadcast from its launch event in Sandton, provides a constant stream of unprofessional on-air incompetence putting SABC News (DStv 404), the South African public broadcaster's new 24-hour TV news channel to shame when it comes to the race for bottom of the barrel television news quality.

Imtiaz Patel, MultiChoice's group CEO said on Wednesday evening that the satellite pay-TV satellite platform has "stringent quality controls" for the news channel and that MultiChoice was happy with the test broadcasts it saw before ANN7 launched its broadcast on Wednesday evening.

Commentators pegged ANN7, South Africa's third 24-hour TV news channel to be wedged between the established eNCA (DStv 403) and SABC News (DStv 404).

It's now very clear that ANN7 is even worse than SABC News as far as ongoing on-screen ineptitude and amateur unprofessionalism is concerned.

ANN7 news readers are unable to read properly. ANN7 news readers are unable to pronounce words and names correctly. ANN7 news readers keeps making cringeworthy mistakes.

It's highly embarrassing for ANN7 which clearly doesn't have any better people with which to replace the inexperienced talent causing the mishaps.

There's a very big, and a very real, difference between one or two accidental mistakes, and an ongoing sistemic problem with quality. If you're a 24-hour TV news channel like ANN7 on DStv and people tune in to rather laugh and watch to see incompetence, instead of the news, then you have a problem.

ANN7 wanted to do a 24-hour news channel but seems incapable of doing it correctly. How can South African viewers trust the news if the basic on-air delivery - filled with amateur news readers and technical snafus - is so far below acceptable standards?

ANN7 already started with perception problems being called "Gupta News" and GuptaTV". Doing a messy trash job of launching and running a 24-hour TV channel isn't going to build credibility or to help change perceptions that ANN7 is a quality TV news channel.

BREAKING. M-Net grabs The Tomorrow People, The Michael J. Fox Show for October very close to the American broadcasting dates.

You're reading it here first. 

M-Net has grabbed brand-new science fiction teen drama series The Tomorrow People and new sitcom The Michael J. Fox Show to start in October very close to the American broadcasting dates of these brand new shows.

The Michael J. Fox Show will start on the pay-TV broadcaster on 11 October at 19:30 says M-Net. The Tomorrow People about a group of young people - each with special powers - will start on M-Net on 25 October at 20:30.

The Tomorrow People will start in America on 9 October and The Michael J. Fox Show is set to start in America on NBC on 26 September.

ANN7: Incompetent news readers, unable to read or pronunciate, are damaging the non-existent credibility of Africa News Network 7.

Incompetent ANN7 news readers, appointed by Infinity Media on MultiChoice's third 24-hour TV news channel on DStv, visibly unable to read or even pronunciate, are hugely damaging to the reputation of Africa News Network 7 and its non-existing credibility as a news source.

Numerous ANN7 on-air talent come across as wholly unsuited, amateur, unprofessional, unable to read, oblivious of names or facts, and utterly unable to read over teleprompter mistakes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

GAME NOT ON: ANN7's biggest and most embarrassing mistake on its launch night as amateur-looking sports presenters bumble on.

There were other embarrassing mistakes all through the launch night of ANN7 (DStv 405) but the biggest unprofessional on-screen mess of South Africa's third 24-hour news channel happened at 22:04 on Wednesday night.

Two amateur and awkward looking sports presenters were involved in a massive on-screen fail, only to start over right from the beginning after a very long promo break as if viewers saw none of it.

There were audio problems right from the start when Game On! started at 22:04 on ANN7 but that was only the beginning. You can watch the cringe-worthy technical mess which played out on ANN7 for yourself.

Look at the presenters at a loss for words. Listen out for the floor crew or the control room voice which you're not supposed to hear.

Look at Carolyn Samuels on the left making faces, trying to signal the floor crew and control room, then mouthing words, and eventually even talking to people off screen.

Listen to Carolyn Samuels saying to her co-presenter "Good one" while the sport clip plays - something you're not supposed to hear, and most probably encouragement after they tried to - and think that they managed to - "save" the segment. (Too late!)

Once the long sport clip ends - abrupty - more embarrassement. Silence. "Hello." "We're back from the break." (Oh? Wasn't it a sports clip?)

More silence. More vacant staring. More sound problems. More control room voice. "Great stuff. Ja, please."

More silence.

More staring.

Then suddenly Table Mountain and then a litany of long promos until Game On! on ANN7 suddenly returned and started right over as if none of it happened.

It wasn't possible to ask ANN7 on Wednesday night what happened and went wrong here; ANN7 was asked repeatedly in multiple media enquiries for weeks before the channel launched who the designated correct ANN7 contact point is for press in terms of urgent media enquiries regarding short notice programming changes and urgent programming enquiries once ANN7 starts broadcasting - there's never been a response.

ALSO READ: ANN7's new news studio finally revealed on-air.
ALSO READ: ANN7: Is South Africa's third 24-hour TV news channel also going to be third-rate? South Africa's TV critics are rolling their eyes at ANN7's lack of publicity.
ALSO READ: Empty chairs and tables at ANN7's launch event Wednesday evening; sign outside reads: "Infinity Media dinner".
ALSO READ: ANN7's main channel bumper looks like something dug up out of the Al Jazeera archives and modified.
ALSO READ: ANN7 too incompetent and unprofessional to provide show logo's - but here's the title cards.
ALSO READ: Surita Smit as new ANN7 weather girl pops on-screen as a Tally Atwater Kulula flight attendant who've ran away to do TV.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Surita Smit as new ANN7 weather girl instantly pops on-screen as a Tally Atwater, Kulula flight attendant who've ran away to TV.

Derek van Dam over at eNCA (DStv 403) and that channel's weather centre finally has true competition in the form of Surita Smit, the ANN7 weather girl weather presenter who's bubbly but not blond and who comes across as a kindergarden teacher or a Kulula flight attendant who've secretly ran away to go do television.

If you've seen Tally Atwater in Up, Close & Personal you will instantly see the similarities between Michelle Pheiffer's character and Surita Smit.

Surita Smit's weather report delivery on ANN7 is a bit too emotive and too fakey-friendly (there's a fine line between being extremely expressively friendly and being patronising). She also made some mistakes in her very first weather report on ANN7 but carried on.

Despite the drawbacks Surita Smit overall exhibits more personality and more schmodel leg changes on television than a lot of the dry on-air meteorologists on South African television.

Surita Smit gives you the high tide times whilst doing the schmodel pose simultaneously, and you expect her to at any time say "make sure you tray tables are folded away and that your seat is in the upright position".

The ANN7 weather map by the way fills the whole screen and provides less detailed information that eNCA weather but is better than SABC News, and includes some additional touches and information bits not provided by other weathercasts on television in South Africa.

ANN7 too incompetent and unprofessional to provide channel logo's for the news channel's shows - but here's the title cards.

ANN7 (DStv 405) on MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform has proved too incompetent and unprofessional to provide any channel logo's of TV shows or programming blocks - but here's some of them as revealed on-air following Wednesday evening's broadcast launch.

ANN7 started broadcasting this evening without making any detailed programming information available.

ANN7 run by Infinity Media failed to provide channel logos to the press ahead of, or even on the day of the channel's launch, and failed to respond to multiple media enquiries and numerous requests over the past weeks seeking show summaries, profiles and show logos also known as title cards, although they exist.

STRAIGHTtalk is ANN7's attempt at a hard talk show, copying HARDtalk of BBC World News (DStv 400 / TopTV 400) in even the stylistic typographic design, with Jimmy Manyi taking a turn as talk show host.

Geri Rantseli-Elsdon will be the presenter or anchor or whatever of Vuka Africa on ANN7 in the mornings from 06:00.

It's not clear whether Vuka Africa on ANN7 will be a magazine type breakfast show like Morning Live and Expresso or a more news driven anchor desk based news broadcast morning production like Morning News Today. ANN7 didn't bother to elaborate on the show or to issue show profile or summary.

Judged from this, there will also be a dedicated and slightly different weekend edition of Vuka Africa, whether on Saturdays or Sundays or maybe both. Again, zero communication from the news channel as to what weekend days, or anything about the show or even who the presenter is.

Hahstag on ANN7 stylised as #ashtag will presumably deal with entertainment and social media with Mika Stefano as one of the presenters. It's not clear what the show is, what it will cover and who the presenter(s) are.

Hola Weekend is a sports show over weekends on ANN7.

Game On! is obviously a sports show or block. ANN7 provided nothing about it.

Apparently Africa Tonight is on ANN7 every night. Who knows.

ANN7 didn't feel it important enough to respond to enquiries about its daypart blocks, what it would be called, and from what time to what time it would be stretching. All that is known is that ANN7 Headlines will be from 19:00 to 20:00, and that ANN7 Prime will be from 20:00 to 21:00.

Express Lunch will be one daypart programming block on ANN7, as will News @ Noon.

What Rands & Sense on ANN7 is, isn't clear at all. A show? A fixed, regular insert? A programming block?

ANN7: Africa News Network 7's channel bumper looks like something dug up out of the Al Jazeera archives and slightly modified.

It swirls, it twirls, it ends with ANN7 - and reminds me of something dug up out of the Al Jazeera archives and slightly modified for the channel's main bumper.

Is the new on-screen main bumper of ANN7 (DStv 405), South Africa's third 24-hour TV news channel, complete with concave blades oscillating around a red micro globe (or is it a Pokemon egg?) really the best Infinity Media could come up with after months of planning and preparing?


If ANN7's primary colours seen in the studio are red, blue and white, why is the bumper a mad melange of not those colours if the news studio is the thing viewers will see directly after they see this 3D effort with an odd Middle Eastern or oriental influence?

The oddness of the ANN7 opener gives a kind of environmental or nature documentary feel to ANN7 ... which the channel is not. It's purports to be a new news channel.

Visually the bumper lifts out the Asian continent - especially with pronounced emphasis on China and India - with the same emphasis not given to other land masses as prominently.

Keep in mind that the politically connected Guptas and Indian investors are behind this TV news channel from Infinity Media.