The treatment of violence on the South African Broadcasting Corporation's television news : a comparative analysis between TV1 and CCV News from 14 March to 26 April 1994.
This study was designed to investigate the portrayal of violence on SABC Television News programmes, these being CCV News, presented at 19h.00 and TVI News at 20h.00. The literature reviewed reveals that Television News is an ideological construct that differs from one media organization to the other. This study focuses on the theories of media organizations which inform ideas about how Television News is produced. It is believed that to understand why Television News is presented the way it is, depends on ideologies applicable in the media organizations. It became difficult to write about violence without broadly looking at its producers. Data was obtained by comparative analysis between the SABC News broadcasts, CCV News and TV1 News, recorded at the Centre for Cultural and Media Studies at the University of Natal in Durban. The comparative analysis also included a reception study of the viewers from four areas. Two urban and three semi-urban areas were chosen as research sites using questionnaires, and interviews were conducted at Temba location which is a semi-urban area. The major findings of the study were that in its News broadcasts, the SABC appears strongly to favour certain parties, notably the African National Congress. There were few reports of ANC's involvement in the shooting of people. There was also a lack of consistency in the reporting of violent incidents. This is indicated by much reliance on the security forces and the police as News sources and the use of maps and graphics instead of showing video material of the actual incidents. The attitudes expressed by the respondents to the questionnaires reflected a dissatisfaction with the status quo and indicated that perhaps the SABC faced a mammoth task in covering both the election campaigns and violence. Some respondents suggested that the SABC could have extended its News programmes' duration to accommodate more crucial items.