SABC delivers comprehensive election coverage under tight financial constraints

SABC delivers comprehensive election coverage under tight financial constraints

Image: Dinilohlanga Mekuto - GE News and Current Affairs Phathiswa Magopeni, Digital News Editor Izak Minnaar, engaging with Morning Live's Leanne Manas.

SABC Group Executive News and Current Affairs Phathiswa Magopeni says the financial constraints the Public Broadcaster is facing has made the task of covering the 2019 General Elections extremely challenging.

Despite this, she says the Public Broadcaster has managed to navigate through the money constraints and produce over 200 radio and television election related programmes, ensuring the South African public are given comprehensive coverage of our sixth democratic national elections.

This time around “we had to make our programming people centered.”

“We’ve had to think hard about how we allocate our resources which are limited.”

She says in the past, most radio and television news programming would be run their broadcasts totally  from the election nerve centre in Pretoria.

“There were decisions that had to be made, and we had to think about how we navigate our coverage despite the constraints that we have…there were things we can’t do which we had done in the past.”

Mentioning how they have cut down on news personnel at the IEC Results Operations Centre (ROC), Magopeni said this time around only current affairs staff are stationed in Pretoria with the rest running programmes from the regions.

To cater for the fast paced digital world, SABC News also made available election related content on its election and normal website. In keeping with the people centered theme, audiences were engaged on Social Media so that their opinions and thoughts on Election 2019 could be heard.

SABC Digital News Editor, Izak Minnaar says the advantage of putting content on digital platforms is about having ease of access to it, over and over again.

For a complete SABC experience for the 2019 National and Provincial elections and beyond, the national broadcaster has developed the SABC News App (available on both Android and IOS) that incorporates all SABC radio stations and the best of the SABC News channel.

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