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TV News as assessed by viewers

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									    REVEALING FIGURES                                                        Television	 news	 has	 been	 under	 even	 closer	 scrutiny	 by	
                                                                            local	 media	 and	 freedom	 of	 expression	 bodies	 since	 it	
                                                                         was	 first	 revealed	 in	 July	 2006	 that	 SABC’s	 news	 and	 current	
                                                                affairs	 head,	 Snuki	 Zikalala,	 had	 allegedly	 “banned”	 four	 political	
                                             commentators	 from	 the	 airwaves.	 But	 how	 do	 viewers	 assess	 the	 credibility	 of	TV	 news	
    and	 do	 they	 value	 the	 information	 they	 receive	 from	 newspapers	 and	 television?	 	 Screen Africa	 asked	 the	 South	African	
    arm	 of	 the	 international	 company	Target	 Group	 Index	 (TGI)	 to	 provide	 the	 relevant	 data	 in	 order	 to	 explore	 viewers	
    opinions	 on	 the	 media.	While	 data	 for	 the	 last	 six	 months	 of	 2006	 on	 this	 issue	 was	 not	 available	 at	 the	 time	 of	 going	
    to	 print,	 it	 is	 evident	 that	 since	 2004	 viewers	 acceptance	 of	 the	 validity	 of	TV	 news	 was	 set	 on	 a	 downward	 path.	The	
    deductions	that	have	been	made	from	the	data	supplied	are	those	of	Screen Africa	in	discussion	with	TIm	BeSTer	of	TGI.



    TV News as assessed by viewers
    CREDIBILITY ASSESSMENT TREND REGARDING TV NEWS                                                                           CREDIBILITY ASSESSMENT OF NEWSPAPERS
                                                                                                                             The table below shows whether people rely on TV or newspapers to keep themselves
                    Degree of sceptism of Newspapers and TV as media
                  Degree of sceptism of Newspapers and TV as media                                                           informed. The % who rely on TV has fallen by 4% points from 38% to 34% over two years
                                                                                                                             whereas those who rely on newspapers has remained the same at just on one quarter of the
                    for information (SABC3 versus eTV) - Total Sample
                   for information (SABC3 versus e.tv) – Total Sample
                                                                                                                             population.

                                                       24%                                                 24%
                                            21%                                                                                            38%
                          18.6%
                                   21%                                       19.1% 21%            21%                                                                   37%
                                                                                                                                                                                                      34%                        34%
      Vert%




                                                                                                                                                                       25%                            25%                            24%
                                                                                                                                        23%

                                                                                                                                                                               Amongst TV viewers, reliance on TV as
                                                                                                                                                                               information carrier has fallen by 4% points,
                                                                                                                                                                               whereas Newspapers have remained static.
                 News – English [SABC3]: I specially
                 News - English [SABC3]: I specially                   News – e.tv [e.tv]: I specially chose to
                                                                       News - e-TV [e-TV]: I specially chose
                  chose to watch this programme
                  chose to watch this programme                               watch this programme
                                                                            to watch thisprogramme
                                                                                                                                 TGISA 2004B 7500               TGISA 2005A 7500               TGISA 2005B 7500                TGISA 2006A 7500
                           Total Sample
                                                                                                                                     (Internal)                     (Internal)                     (Internal)                      (Internal)
                           I rely on TV to keep me informed: Definitely Agree
                                                                                                                                     I rely on TV to keep me informed: Definitely Agree    I rely on newspapers to keep me informed: Definitely Agree
                           I rely on newspapers to keep me informed: Definitely Agree
                           If I rely on TV for the news I am only getting part of the story: Definitely Agree

                                                                                                                             CREDIBILITY ASSESSMENT REGARDING TV NEWS
    The number of people who express scepticism regarding the credibility of news on television
    has risen in the first six months of 2006 after reflecting a steady decline from over 4m in 2004
                                                                                                                                         4,053
    to a low of just over 3m. The number of people who do not agree with the statement that they
    are getting only part of the news story on television is very small by comparison, but it too has                                                              3,575                     3,488                                     3,412
    dropped in the last six months. These trends indicate a loss in the credibility placed by South                                                                                                                 3,075
    African adults in television news.

    RELY ON TV TO KEEP ME INFORMED BY RACE

              5,000
                                                                                                                                       703                                                  679                     745                     652
              4,000                                                                                                                                              594

              3,000
                                                                                                                                TGISA 2004A 7500        TGISA 2004B 7500           TGISA 2005A 7500         TGISA 2005B 7500         TGISA 2006A 7500
                                                                                                                                    (Internal)              (Internal)                 (Internal)               (Internal)               (Internal)
              2,000
                                                                                                                                             If I rely on TV for the news I am only getting part of the story: Definitely Agree
              1,000                                                                                                                          If I rely on TV for the news I am only getting part of the story: Definitely Disagree

                                                                                                                             Comparing these statistics to reliance on TV versus Newspapers to keep them informed, shows
                      0    TGISA 2003B TGISA 2004A TGISA 2004B TGISA 2005A TGISA 2005B TGISA 2006A                           that whether they specially chose to watch SABC3 or e.tv, newspapers and TV perform about
                           7500 (Internal) 7500 (Internal) 7500 (Internal) 7500 (Internal) 7500 (Internal) 7500 (Internal)
                                                                                                                             equally with 21% agreeing that either TV or Newspapers are relied on. And, interestingly,
              Black            4,750           4,439           4,556           4,491           4,212            4,248
                                                                                                                             scepticism regarding TV as delivering only part of the story is the same amongst SABC3 and
              White               693           663             787             670             651              568
                                  525           569             638             665             493              475
                                                                                                                             e.tv viewers at 24%. On the one hand e.tv promotes their news as “unbiased” and the “snuki”
              Coloured
              Indian              203           188             167             202             201              205         factor has become an issue in recent times for the SABC.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Target Group Index (TGI),
    In 2003, 4,75m Black viewers said that they relied on TV for information but by 2005 there                                                                               a single source database, is marketed
                                                                                                                                                                         and sold in South Africa by The Brand Survey
    was a drop to 4,2m. Both Coloureds and Whites show a small drop in the numbers who said                                                                           Company SA [Pty] Ltd under license from BMRB in
    that they rely on TV to keep informed. Amongst Indians there was no remarkable change                                                                         London. TGI is currently available in 57 countries round the
    over this period.                                                                                                                                            world, and these range from highly sophisticated first world to
                                                                                                                                                                                   less developed countries.

                                                                                                                                                              TGI in South Africa is headed by Barbara Cooke and Tim Bester.
                                                                                                                                                                Research is done continuously during 10 months of the year –
                                                                                                                                                             February to November. It is based on a stratified, random probability
                                                                                                                                                               sample of 15 000 adults, 16 years and older. This sample totals
                                                                                                                                                                 16 666 295 people, which represents 56% of the total adult
	       	     SCREENAFRICA – January 2007                                                                                                                                        population of South Africa.
                                                                                                                                                                          Tel 011 234 0656 Mobile 082 892 5884

								
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