The fact that the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) relies heavily on advertising as a source of revenue impacts on its content production in a way that can be seen as a form of interference. That is according to the Group Executive for News and Current Affairs Phathiswa Magopeni.

Magopeni was participating in a discussion at the Goethe-Institute in Johannesburg titled ‘Financing of Journalism’. It examined the complexities the media industry is facing and how it should evolve.

She says the impact of having advertising as the main source of revenue hampers the public broadcaster’s true mandate of serving all sectors of society.

“We are trying to drive conversations and that citizens get to engage in public dialogues about issues of provincial, local and national concern. You are not able to deliver that at the scale that you would want to, because of the resource constraints.

“The fact that you have an entity that relies on advertising, classical advertising and sponsorship. 84% comes from that. Even though your advertising sector may not dictate what you do, there is a tendency to want to lean towards what they prefer in the way you produce your content. It is actually similar to any other form of interference,” Magopeni adds.

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