The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the media and in particular the public broadcaster in informing and educating the public.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has played an important role in this regard as many South Africans rely on it for their news that are aired in different official languages.
And it has launched various educational programs in 2020 despite the fact that its public mandate is funded by only 3%.
The media industry’s revenue has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But despite this, media houses such as the SABC have been able to increase offerings to provide diverse news content and more educational programs to the public.
The public broadcaster launched its educational channel in May 2020 to assist learners as they were forced to work from home due to the impact of COVID-19.
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And it also formed partnership with other stake holders to increase more educational program offerings.
Group Executive, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Gugu Ntuli says, “News has played an important role in informing the public about the pandemic and more importantly, the education component has been useful, especially in schools that have no access to digital platforms.”
Analysts have applauded the SABC for offering reliable and credible news contribution.
But they are concerned that many South Africans still do not have access to more news offered on the internet.
Media Monitor William Bird says, “The SABC is able to provide news in all languages including online. Just recently they reached a one million viewership and that is impressive. The challenge is access and lack of resources.”
The SABC is yet to receive the R1.5 billion COVID-19 relief fund that it has applied for.
But says it is doing everything it can to be financially sustainable and mitigate the losses incurred during COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of accessing information, especially during pandemic.
But this period led to the Public Broadcaster having to spend more money in order to form partnerships with other stakeholders to increase educational programs.
Some of the programs are aired on television, radio and online platforms.
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