NEWS & ANALYSIS

Job losses in media industry worrying – SANEF

Tiso Blackstar closing Sunday World and retrenching staff across a number of publications

SANEF perturbed by job losses in the media industry

14 May 2019

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) is perturbed about the continued job losses in the media industry.

This time, Tiso Blackstar has announced that the tabloid newspaper Sunday World will be shut down and that they will be retrenching staff across a number of its publications including the Sowetan, Business Day, The Herald and Daily Dispatch.

In the past two years, scores of journalists lost their jobs due to retrenchments by Tiso Blackstar, Media24, Independent Media and the shutdown of Afro Worldview, previously known as ANN7, by Multichoice.

Titles like The Times and HuffPost SA were closed, which diminished the diversity of voices in South Africa.

The SABC has also said it was necessary to retrench journalists to remain financially viable. In some newsrooms, journalists are simply not being replaced, resulting in diminished capacity to cover the length and breadth of the country.

With the prevailing tough economic conditions, advertising revenue has declined dramatically, and the bulk of digital advertising revenue leaves the country's shores to Facebook and Google.

These are hard times for the local media industry. SANEF is concerned that declining numbers of media institutions, publications and the shrinking numbers of journalists will lead to fewer reporting, opinions and debate in the country.

We call on media owners to think creatively and responsibly about implementing new, sustainable business models, built on the integrity and trust our readers, viewers and listeners place in us to tell the country's stories without fear or favour.

Issued by Kate Skinner, Executive Director, SANEF, 14 May 2019