Johannesburg - Media houses, big and small, have the next three years to ensure that complete transformation takes place in the industry.
Yesterday, the Print and Digital Media Transformation Task Team and its chairman, Nkwenkwe Nkomo, handed over a report to Print and Digital Media SA (PDMSA) president Hoosain Karjieker.
The report is a culmination of written submissions and presentations made by various media players.
The task team was set up after the ANC’s 2007 resolution to set up a media tribunal because it was unhappy with the state of the media and transformation. The task team said there had been accusations that the print media did not reflect the diversity of South Africa, that it was largely white-owned and had in the past been investigated for racism by the SA Human Rights Commission. The media were also accused of being uncompetitive and stifling emerging media houses.
Nkomo said the task team had over the past year tried to interact with as many role-players as possible.
Task team members Neo Bodibe, the head of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA; Anastasia Martin, the founding member of the Digital Media and Marketing Association education and transformation project; and former Media24 chief executive Jan Malherbe were involved in hearings held across the country.
Nkomo said during the presentations made, it was clear that certain attempts had been made to transform, but that this was not enough.
The task team’s report is a clarion call for broad-based BEE to take centre stage.
In its findings, the team maintained the print and digital media industry had failed to transform itself sufficiently in ownership, management control, employment equity and skills development levels.
It further added that there was negligible black ownership in medium-sized companies – particularly magazines.
The performance of major role-players regarding skills development was dismal, the report said.
As a result the task team made the following key recommendations: that at least half of all board participants in media companies be black and that half of them be women.
It also said there was a need for publications in more black languages. It aid major players had to consider entering into more partnerships with small publishers, particularly women.
Karjieker said the PDMSA accepted the report and would study it to implement some of its recommendations.