Editorials 2.2.2018 09:00 am

Answers needed from Naspers about Gupta propaganda

Naspers has not given satisfactory answers to that question.

There are many journalists and media outlets who have been lamenting the looming loss of TV channel ANN7 from the DStv bouquets – and there is certainly merit in the argument that ANN7 was an alternative voice in the media landscape.

However, one must not lose sight of the fact that the channel was birthed by the Gupta family, as a propaganda bolster for its now well-documented moves to influence government and business throughout South Africa.

In other words, the diversity of opinion that some commentators now claim will be missed in our media was never a genuine diversity in the first place.

It was a cynical part of the elaborate state capture apparatus. On the other hand, other media organisations in this country have had to sing for the supper they got from their proprietors.

That being the case, it is not right to gloat, either, about the demise of ANN7, because we in the rest of the media are not without sin ourselves.

The best hope is that the new owner of the channel, Jimmy Manyi, will throw off the appearance of being a Gupta lackey and attract people to invest their money in the alternative view of the world which ANN7 and The New Age undoubtedly offer.

Yet, we should also continue to ask about why MultiChoice and its owners (the giant Naspers group) became involved with the Gupta propaganda machine in the first place.

Could it have been, as some have suggested, to curry favour with the Jacob Zuma-led government on the issue of terrestrial broadcasting licences?

Naspers has not given satisfactory answers to that question.

And they must, because South Africa deserves to know what went on behind the scenes in this most odd of “odd couple” relationships.

Progressive Professionals Forum condemns MultiChoice decision on ANN7

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