TheMediaOnline takes a look at key events in the local media industry in 2014.
Independent News and Media SA (now Independent Media) suspends Business Report Cape Town bureau chief Donwald Pressly for enjoying undeclared “links” with a political party, an allegation he denies.
Comedy Central and Nando’s announce comedian Leon Schuster will star in South Africa’s first “roast”of the year; he was subsequently replaced by Kenny Kunene.
SABC group executive officer Lulama Mokhobo resigns after serving two years of a five-year contract. The SABC says her reasons for leaving are “personal and confidential” but reports suggest she did not get along with acting chief operating officer Haludi Motsoeneng, who would continue to dominate media headlines throughout the year.
Media workers union Mwasa accuses the SABC of victimising and persecuting its employees after Motsoeneng says those with university degrees are a “drain on the SABC”.
Agang SA founder Mamphele Ramphela’s image in the media takes a knock after her public break-up with opposition leader Helen Zille, according to research by Media Tenor SA.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema overtakes Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille as the most popular local political leader on social networking site Twitter.
eNCA apologises “unreservedly” for showing a picture of Michelle Burger, the first state witness to testify in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. It showed her picture despite a court order that her face may not be shown to the public.
Julius Malema accuses the SABC of banning adverts by his political party, the Economic Freedom Front. Up to then, few people had taken notice of the advert, but after the public spat with the state broadcaster, it became an instant hit on YouTube.
Business Day appoints Songezo Zibi as its new editor, taking over from Peter Bruce who was at the helm of the financial daily for 13 years.
Former 5FM breakfast host Gareth Cliff goes live on CliffCentral.com.
Media24 decides against plans to scale down its Afrikaans daily in the Free State, Volksblad, after AfriForum launches a “Save the Volksblad” campaign.
Dr Iqbal Surve, the owner of Independent News and Media SA, storms out of the Nat Nakasa awards event when former Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois wins the award for courageous journalism. She was dismissed by Surve, reportedly over an editorial disagreement.
Naspers announces its financial results for the year ending 31 March 2014. Consolidated revenue had grown by 26 percent to R67.2 billion, driven by its Internet and pay-TV investments, but it warns that print media remains exposed.
Hlaudi Motsoeneng is appointed chief operating officer of the SABC, after acting in the position for three years. This is despite the public protector finding that he lied about his qualifications and gave himself three salary increases in one year. The board says it trusts “he’ll continue to positively stabilise the SABC”.
Gallo Images announces a due diligence process into acquiring the SA Press Association (SAPA).
The Witness newspaper launches a tabloid version of the Durban edition of its newspaper. A few months later it was shut down.
The remains of South African journalist Nat Nakasa are brought home from the United States, nearly 50 years after he died in an apparent suicide.
Parliament announces it would conduct a preliminary inquiry into allegations that SABC chairwoman, Ellen Tshabalala, lied about her qualifications. She briefly manages to halt the inquiry by going to court, but her bid fails in November.
Caxton Newspapers scuttle a deal between Naspers and Paarl Media after being allowed to intervene in a merger before the Competition Tribunal.
Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, which owns Independent Media, announces it wants to make a R50 million bid to buy the SA Press Association.
Media24 launches Netwerk24, a new Afrikaans website combining all the content of its newspapers into one online platform.
The board of the SA Press Association (SAPA) announces that a deal has been struck to secure the 76-year-old non-profit company’s future in the form of a new commercial entity to be launched next year.
Facebook announces it has reached the 100 million user mark across Africa.
Media24 news chief Fergus Sampson resigns unexpectedly, with the company “wishing him well in all future endeavours”.
The annual State of the Newsroom report shows that almost 600 media workers were retrenched from July 2013 to July 2014.
It’s official – Oscar Pistorius’s murder trial is the biggest story in the world on the day of his sentencing, according to Tonya Khoury, managing director of media intelligence company ROi Africa,who spent 270 days analysing items about Pistorius on more than 200 million platforms – online, print and broadcast across the world – through smart technology.
Cape Times assistant editor Tony Weaver leaves Independent Media after being hauled before a disciplinary committee for apparently questioning the editing of a photograph.
The Western Cape High Court orders that SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng be suspended with immediate effect, siding by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela who suggested remedial action in her report on the public broadcaster. Motsoeneng, who does not have matric, immediately vows to appeal the decision. He remains on in his position.
After losing an urgent court application to halt a disciplinary inquiry, Marcel Golding resigns as executive chairperson of Hosken Consolidated Investments (HCI), as well as its subsidiary Sabido and broadcaster e.tv. This is after his suspension for gross misconduct relating to the purchase of shares.
Soon after his departure, his wife, e.tv chief operating officer, Bronwyn Keene-Young, resigns. In an email to staff, she recalls how she had to resist editorial pressure from non-executive director Yunis Shaik.
The global Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) honours City Press editor Ferial Haffajee for her contribution to media freedom.
According to research by Media Tenor, Afrikaans daily Beeld becomes the most quoted daily newspaper in South Africa. Overall, the Sunday Times remains the most quoted, followed by City Press and Mail & Guardian.
The Western Cape High Court dismisses a bid by SABC chairman Ellen Tshabalala to stop a parliamentary inquiry into allegations that she lied about her qualifications.
Media24 announces the closure of the Durban tabloid edition of The Witness. News chief Ishmet Dacison describes it as a “painful decision” but says the investment period would have been too long.
The Witness editor Andrew Trench is appointed editor of News24.com, taking over from Jannie Momberg who becomes head of News24’s Africa operations.
Specialist magazine publishers calls for alternative delivery arrangements following a lengthy and costly strike in the SA Post Office.
The Randburg Magistrate’s Court rules in favour of comedian and ventriloquist Conrad Koch who opposed an interim protection order against him by singer Steve Hofmeyr after his puppet Chester Missing, criticised online remarks by Hofmeyr about Apartheid.
Staff at Independent Media threaten to go on strike after being offered a one percent salary increase and a 30 percent bonus.
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