The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) welcomes the report of the Print and Digital Media SA (PDMSA) task team on transformation in the media industry. It is the first time that an exhaustive study of the state of transformation in the print and related digital media industries has been undertaken. We thank the task’s team led by Nkwenke Nkomo and his commissioners and managed by Mathatha Tsedu and his team at the secretariat.
We owe them a debt of gratitude because for the first time, we have a good picture of transformation across the value chain as measured by the employment equity and black economic empowerment laws of our country.
In some measures, the industry is doing well. For example, in skills development and preferential procurement, the print and related digital industries have put their shoulders to the grindstone and worked. But the report suggests more work needs to be done to transform the ownership landscape – a challenge we hope members of PDMSA will tackle head-on.
There is notable change in the structure of equity in our newsrooms. As senior managers in our industries we will continue to do all possible to ensure transformation in the areas in which we have control such as training, hiring and promotion of editorial staff.
In addition, SANEF is excited that the task team has been future-focused as it trained its telescope on digital media, the great hope for access to free and diverse media for all our country’s people. We support the task team’s call for rapid digital migration to speed up a broadband revolution. From there will flow an information revolution.
As SANEF, we believe the media industry must lead change and be ahead of the curve. This is because we are industry styled as a fourth estate and we enjoy constitutional protection. We have a higher responsibility to be an exemplar of transformation.