Buried SABC report reveals public perception of ANC bias
South Africans believe that SABC news bulletins are biased towards the ANC, according to Project Kindle, a market research report commissioned last year by the public broadcaster and buried by its management because it delivered bad news.
Project Kindle was commissioned by the SABC to analyse declining viewership since 2009. I am reliably informed that, because the research agency did not educate and inform research respondents "when their opinions and perceptions are wrong", it was rejected by the SABC's market intelligence department.
I will write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Communications, Sikhumbuzo Kholwane, and request that this report be brought before Parliament.
The research was conducted last year via focus groups comprising all race groups throughout South Africa.
Among its findings are:
The majority of respondents feel that the SABC's news is biased towards the ANC;
The perception of political bias and pro-ANC political reporting creates low credibility of political reporting among SABC News viewers;
Most consumers seek other news sources to find balanced political views of events such as Marikana or President Zuma's compound at Nkandla;
SABC 1 is believed to be the more biased of the SABC's three free-to-air TV channels; and
There is a perception that politicians make decisions on content rather than the editors.
Clearly, mismanagement and manipulation of its agenda by unscrupulous characters such as Acting COO Hlaudi Motsoeneg have tarnished the public broadcaster's reputation. This report suggests that the SABC is seen as a mouthpiece for the ANC, which is why we believe it has been buried.
We will do what we can to ensure that the report is brought to light so that it can be debated and discussed in Parliament.
Statement issued by Marian Shinn MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, March 14 2014
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