9 May 2019

South Africa: New Kid Newzroom Afrika Does Well Despite One or Two Technical Glitches

analysis

Only six days after its on-air launch, the country's youngest black-owned, independent, 24-hour news channel on DSTV, Newzroom Afrika, rushed headlong into one of the most closely contested general elections ever. The youth-focused channel did well, despite a few technical hitches.

In the months it has hovered in digital limbo, the ghosts of the former Gupta media empire, ANN7, and later Mzwanele Manyi's doomed Afro Worldview, appear to have finally departed DSTV's Channel 405.

Channel 405, until 2 May 2019, had been burdened, let's say by a not too savoury past.

Enter, with a sophisticated bang, Newzroom Afrika, owned by Thabile Ngwato and Thokozani Nkosi, and featuring a fine team of anchors and journalists drawn from established stations across the country.

Who can forget the disastrous launch of ANN7 in 2013 with bewildered young female anchors - many recruited from the modelling world - mispronouncing names, squinting at stalled Autocues and chatting to crew off-screen.

The bar was set so low, people, so low.

But ah, how far we have come.

The arrival of Newzroom Afrika is cause for celebration. Finally, established channels, the SABC and eNCA, which have problems of their own, will face healthy competition.

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