We need only to look at the Murdoch empire, the Guptas' foray into TV and the press, and the not-so-Independent Media Group to see how things can go wrong.
First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
In a previous column, I attempted to articulate, with a little more precision, the exact nature of the problems standing in the way of building an ecosystem that could aid the recovery and progress of the media industry. To recap, the four problem statements were:
How might we structure financially independent news media so that they can access investment and other funding pools in a governance-friendly manner?
How might we reclaim lost editorial skills, build capacity and talent pipelines and aid the continuous development of our media professionals?
How might we build organisations that are robust and continually innovating in journalism, new products and revenue opportunities?
How might we access and fund the appropriate technology required to deliver the best possible service to our audiences?
I will elaborate further on problem statement #1 and recommend some actions. Access to funding and start-up funding are not new issues for South African organisations, let alone media. And so we are faced with macro-economic hurdles...