NATIONAL NEWS - SANEF released a statement highlighting their concern over the job losses in the media industry. This comes a day after Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released the results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), which indicate that the official unemployment rate increased by 0.5 of a percentage point to 27.6% compared to the last quarter in 2017.
SANEF says that 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 their 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,” says SANEF.
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 a 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,” they said.
For more info, visit SANEF.