Premier Makhura endorses grass root media

Posted: 01/10/2015 in General
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MEDIA 101: AIP’s Louise Vale induct Gauteng Premier David Makhura about community print media.

MEDIA 101: AIP’s Louise Vale induct Gauteng
Premier David Makhura about community print media.

The Association of Inde¬pendent Publishers under the tutelage of Executive Director, Louise Vale re¬cently held a conference for Gauteng-based publishers under the theme “Bridging The Local Information Di¬vide” where value and im¬portance of media diversity became the order of the day.

Giving a keynote address, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura emphasised that by reporting on is-sues close to the hearts and minds of community members, grass root me¬dia has become a trusted partner in advancing com¬munity development.

“You are providing an important platform for community members to deliberate on and shape their own future.

Many of you have built intimate relationships with your readership and the communities you serve.

You have become their num¬ber one and trusted source of local news and information,” said Makhura.

This conference took place when all indications are that print media readership con¬tinues to decline especially among the upper-to-middle-classes in South Africa and also at a time when a national debate is raging in the coun¬try about the extent to which the media has transformed as well as the extent of the di¬versity of our media.

“Readiness to report on sto¬ries considered as insignifi¬cant or not news worthy by the main-stream media has cemented your place as an important alternative voice that enriches our media land¬scape.

You are our partner as we strive towards the target we have set for ourselves in the National Development Plan of ensuring 100% access to reliable information by 2030.

To us independent grass roots media is the life blood of our democracy. It is also a key feature of the informa¬tion age we find ourselves in,” Makhura expressed.

According to the South Af¬rican Audit of Circulation, of the 29 commercial newspapers we have in the country, only a hand-full are written in lan¬guages other than English.

In addition most of those writ¬ten in languages other than English are regionally based.

Makhura said, “We are en¬couraged that no less than 87 AIP member publications pub¬lish in indigenous languages or publish in a combination of an indigenous as well as English or Afrikaans.”

Equally and as pointed out in 2013 by the Print and Digital Media Transformation Task Team, the media industry has failed to transform itself suf¬ficiently according to Broad Based Black Economic Em¬powerment guidelines, particu¬larly in the areas of ownership, management and control as well as skills development and employment equity.

“On this important occasion we wish to make a commitment that as part of our programme to revitalize township economies – where we are transforming our townships into sustainable nodes of economic activity as well as vibrant cultural and intellectual spaces, we will strengthen sup¬port to township based publica¬tions and media outlets.

We will also continue to en¬courage provincial departments and government agencies to in¬vest a substantial amount of their advertising spend on grassroots independent publications.

All of this is part of our on-going commitment to deepening media diversity and pluralism.
We look forward to working with you as we make our me¬dia more reflective of the many views and perspectives that make up our society,” Makhura concluded.

Established in 2004, with over 250 members nationally the AIP is an organisation for advancing the interests of the independent grassroots print media sector in South Africa. 70% of publica¬tions are black owned with 20% owned by women.


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