SABC 24-Hour News Channel Will Impact Politics

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The SABC announced last week that it would be starting a 24-hour news channel in September. While this will obviously mean some competition for eNews, the biggest impact it could have could be on South African politics.

Since its inception, eNews has become integrated with many of South Africa’s most important events. Press conferences, speeches and events have been broadcast live by the channel. Local politicians have realised this and begun to see, not only the importance of it, but also the potential. Because of this, the SABC has almost been pushed to compete with their own offering.

While an SABC 24-hour news channel will mean competition for eNews, it could actually help aid their cause. With an expanding field with the potential to reach a large percentage of the nation, events may be planned with television as a main priority in the future and eNews will benefit from that.

The United States and Europe have had political systems built around live television for years and our politicians will have to learn some lessons from their international counterparts. Live television makes it harder for politicians to duck questions and issues, especially if they’ll be two TV channels which almost an entire nation will have access to. Life may be harder for politicians, but this can only mean good things for democracy.

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