Broadcasters set up shop in SA
|September 24, 2006|
GLOBAL business television channel CNBC will broadcast a dedicated free-to-air 24-hour African service from the first half of next year.
The announcement came as Al Jazeera, the Arabic news channel, said this week it would be broadcasting from SA “within weeks”. It will have offices in 12 African countries.
Zafar Siddiqi, chairman of CNBC Africa, said: “There’s a change in government attitude towards the media; they’re welcoming international journalists and broadcasters.”
The channel will initially be based in Johannesburg with live connectivity to Cape Town, Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria.
Siddiqi said the stock market, business activities and economic news in Africa were not generally covered. News agencies generally covered civil wars, crime and corruption.
“I’m very optimistic it will make a distinct change.”
The move culminates two years of assessment and initial investment will be $25-million.
Hurdles to setting up the station had included “disjointed and unclear” broadcasting policies between countries, he said.
“Africa is going to see an upsurge in satellite channels. We will set a new standard in broadcasting that will spur others to aspire towards. We will work closely with all broadcasters around Africa.”
Siddiqi was a speaker at the International Media Forum in Johannesburg this week.
Randy Walerius, an editor at Dow Jones, said the rationale driving what his wire service covers was “news to profit by”.
The vast majority of its client base are professionals in the investment world.
He said the question driving news decisions was: did it help a reader make an investment decision or put together parts of a puzzle.
“We don’t look at news as positive or negative. It’s whether the news offers news to profit by,” he added.
“Whether or not we like it, these events are important to the marketplace.
“One person’s tragedy is another person’s opportunity.”
Nigel Parsons, managing director of Al Jazeera International, said his agency’s service would report not only the tragedies of Africa but also its hopes and successes.