The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) 2019 Elections coverage has received a thumbs-up from the Media Monitoring  Africa’s (MMA) Final Elections Report.

The public broadcaster’s flagship elections programme, Democracy Gauge,  scooped the first position in the overall elections ratings, with SABC 1 Siswati/Ndelebele News, Thobela FM, Lesedi FM and Motsweding FM making the top ten.

The report  looked at election news stories and coverage from 1 March 2019 to 15 May 2019.

MMA monitors elections coverage across South African media, and gives newsrooms feedback on what to improve.

SABC Group Executive: News, Phathiswa Magopeni says there is still much room for growth. Magopeni says it is important to give the marginalised a voice if we are to “uphold what we stand for.”

“We are aware of the under representation of female voices and we are making a conscious effort to improve this.”

The report by the media body reflects that only 20% of voices heard on news stories are from females, even though that demographic makes up more than 50% of our population. Magopeni says rural communities are also a priority for SABC News going forward.

“Beyond the coverage of women, it’s the rural communities we visit when there are stories that we care about, and leave when things die down.” She says it is important to give these communities a voice in the mainstream media.

Magopeni has also raised concerns over the treatment of journalists during the lead up to these past elections, highlighting an incident where an SABC News crew was robbed in Alexandra north of Johannesburg during the Alex shutdown protests.

She says the attacks “were a very sad moment for me.”

Watch video for the full interview: