Media Tuesday Bulletin: SA media & African disasters; SABC bans Nando’s ad; &, Child Protection Week

Posted: 5 June 2012 | News - Newsletter | Categories: Children, Race, Xenophobia and Ethnicity, Media Freedom and Performance

Here’s what we have for you this Media Tuesday:

·         SA media’s coverage of Africa(n) disasters

·         SABC plucks out Nando’s feathers

·         A look back at Child Protection Week

Is SA separate from the rest of Africa?

One of the hot topics in the news over the weekend was a plane crash in Nigeria that has so far reportedly claimed the lives of 153 people. The story is gaining momentum now with reports of chaos as competing rescue teams clashed and President Jacob Zuma sending condolences to Nigeria following the disaster.

Just to put you into the picture in case you haven’t heard about the news: a commercial airliner, a Boeing MD83 aircraft belonging to Dana Air crashed into a densely-populated neighbourhood in Nigeria’s largest city of Lagos on Sunday. The crash resulted in deaths of 153 people, including those on board and on the ground, and is said to be the worst air disaster in nearly 20 years for the west-African country.

South African (SA) media has, and still is, reporting on the disaster as it develops, and giving it quite a fair amount of coverage judging by various articles on it on different local media and news sites. But there is a trend to quickly point out the absence of any local fatalities in the crash, and a colleague of ours pointed to a radio report on Monday morning, which focused only on the fact that no South Africans were reportedly involved in the crash.

Still on African disasters, there was a report or two about an earthquake that hit Swaziland on Sunday night, measuring 4 on the Richter scale. Resultant aftershocks could be felt in some parts of South Africa bordering the Swazi Kingdom; that is, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces.

One radio station on Monday morning spoke to a couple of SA residents in the affected areas to get their voices on how they felt the aftershocks of the quake. No Swazi were people spoken to! Just as long as South Africans are not badly affected then, it’s all good in the hood as the saying goes, right?

Media expert, Professor Tawana Kupe, wrote a column in The New Age newspaper two weeks ago about the non-existent coverage of Arica Day by SA media. In the column, Prof Kupe also spoke about SA media’s coverage of African issues being a bit problematic. He indicated a sense in SA’s media that promotes an idea of SA as a country totally different and separate from the rest of Africa.

Could that be the case even in our media’s coverage of African countries and disasters in other Africans countries? Is that what we are seeing in SA media’s coverage of Nigerian plane crash and an earthquake in Swaziland? And maybe even compare that to how SA media fare when disasters occur in European countries. Do SA media only care about disasters in Europe than those in Africa? Is the coverage more prominent and in-depth when it is about European cases than in African ones; or only when South Africans are involved? Send us your views on Facebook and Twitter...

Nando’s advert ruffles SABC feathers

Chicken fast food chain, Nando’s is at it again with its latest anti-xenophobic campaign that promotes diversity via the outlet’s two new product additions on its menu. The outlet has never been one to shy away from controversy that comes with social commentary, but has used this very well as a form of marketing and advertising. They have also done so with the controversial Brett Murray painting, called “The Spear”, but that we transgress.

The latest advert

The new ad takes swipe at xenophobia and opens with a line that says “You know what’s wrong with South Africa? It’s all you foreigners.” It then shows South Africans of all races and cultures disappear in puffs of smoke, with the only one remaining, a Khoisan man, who says, ''I'm not going anywhere. You *$@#* found us here."

What we found interesting about the ad was that it was dropped by the SABC on Thursday last week just before it was due to debut on one of the public broadcaster’s television, SABC 2. The broadcaster felt that the message in Nandos's diversity campaign violated the Electronics Communications and Transactions Act and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) code.

While Nando’s said the campaign sought to address the issue of xenophobia by calling on all South Africans to embrace diversity and shun prejudices, the SABC reportedly said that the campaign had xenophobic undertones which it said might stir unnecessary tensions. The SABC went on to say that it would not flight any ad that contained bad language or incited violence, racism and xenophobia.

Have you seen the ad? It has gone viral on video service YouTube, and if you haven’t watched it yet, then watch it here and tell us what you think of it.

As the SABC have found it, do you also feel it has xenophobic undertones and may cause unnecessary tensions? Does it contain bad language or incite violence, racism and xenophobia? How do you feel about the campaign in general; do you like it or not, and why? Do you think the advert should be banned or not? Feel free to Facebook and Tweet us your thoughts...

How the media performed during Child Protection Week

Last week was Child Protection Week (CPW) and it started with the launch on Sunday by President Jacob Zuma. As a result, we asked, in our Media Monday Bulletin last week, how would you like to see the media get involved in the campaign. So we just thought that this week let us, together with you, join forces as we look back at how our media performed during Child Protection Week.

A lot was written about in the media about Child Protection Week, and we were happy about the amount of coverage afforded to children stories and the campaign itself by some media outlets. One of the media that performed well was The Times newspaper, which started with its sister paper, The Sunday Times, having a front-pager about children. During the week, The Times featured a lot of children stories, with three editorials to top it off.

The Star newspaper also did not disappoint, as it dedicated a lot of its coverage to Child Protection Week and to children as well. The New Age also featured at least one article everyday about CPW and children.

We would like to hear from you though, as to how well or bad you thought the media performed during CPW. It’s one thing to have lots of articles and opinion pieces about children just because it is Child Protection Week, but still fail to uphold children’s rights in those articles, for example.

With that in mind, how did media do during Child Protection Week? You can find us on Facebook and Twitter; send us your comments there...