What is it with South Africa’s three local TV news channels broadcasting merciless hours of mindless ministerial COVID-19 mayhem every day?
In case you media people weren’t paying attention, the Honourable Jackson Mthembu has pointed out ad nauseam that these are “media briefings.” Gettit? That “media” bit? By implication, that means reporters have to sit through the whole three hours and then report back to their viewers, readers and listeners.
That’s their job. That’s what they have been doing for centuries. If eNCA’s Sally Burdett can succinctly deliver a concise report in one minute on the contents of a three hour media briefing then surely that’s the way to go? And why all three channels at the same time? Why can’t they take it in turns for crying out loud?
And especially in prime time when at least one channel should be giving give us news instead of this excruciating litany of repetitive absurdity interspersed with the very occasional interesting fact.
And if you are under pressure from government to broadcast these things why not suggest to them that they use their parliamentary channel which is currently broadcasting repeats of 2018 debates by the Portfolio Committee on Parliamentary Ethics and Freebies.
Or maybe, when the Honourable Dlamini-Zuma is trying to keep us awake by occasionally saying a word every three or four minutes, it can be broadcast on Comedy Central. Or better still, she could join the chorus line of Teletubbies and at least give us something to do while waiting for her next word. A smidgeon of a facial expression would also go down really well.
If eNCA’s Sally Burdett can succinctly deliver a concise report in one minute on the contents of a three hour media briefing then surely that’s the way to go?
Imagine too, what fun it would be to intersperse Bheki Cele and his nose-rejecting mask with excerpts from Sylvester Stallone Movies. ‘Rocky Cele’ has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? And listen, Honourable Members of the Government Committee on Stopping the Coronavirus and Killing all Known Germs Dead, I have a question about masks. If they work as well as you say, why can’t we just go back to our pre-corona lifestyles and just wear masks?
On the other hand, if we have to stay locked down because masks don’t really work, then why are we wearing them? I look forward to your explanations on the next TV episode of Doctor Pimple Popper.
So, come on media – start doing your work and stop forcing us to attend those media briefings with you. Otherwise, if you insist on us tagging along, would you mind if we came with you when you wandered around the country completely free of any lockdown regulations?
Chris Moerdyk (@chrismoerdyk ) is a marketing analyst and advisor and owner of Moerdyk Marketing with many years of experience in marketing and the media as well as serving as non-executive director and chairman of companies.
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