Mbuotidem Johnson, founder of Lagos-based Basement Animation, and Thabile Ngwato, CEO of Ngwato Nkosi Group, parent company of Newzroom Afrika, have been appointed as jurors for the International Emmy Awards.
The New York-based International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which recognises excellence in television production produced outside the US and owns the International Emmy Awards, welcomed members from more than a dozen countries.
Basement Animation is behind toons such as social issues-themed Tosin’s Story, Halima’s Vote and Emeka’s Money, while Newzroom Afrika is a South African 24-hour digital satellite television news channel broadcast across Africa on pay TV platform DStv.
Johnson said: “I am delighted to announce my official election into the prestigious International Emmy Awards. It is an honour to be recognised among the industry’s finest to join this esteemed community of television professionals. I look forward to contributing to the Academy’s mission of advancing excellence in television worldwide.”
The 51st edition of the International Emmys takes place this November in New York City.
South Africa-based news network Newzroom Afrika has partnered with regional SA channels KwaZulu-Natal-based 1KZN TV and Mpuma Kapa TV to increase their audience reach and provide training and mentorship.
The initiative will enable Eastern Cape broadcasters 1KZN TV and Mpuma Kapa TV to offer live coverage of breaking news from rural areas, participate in interviews through studio-to-studio live feeds, produce exclusive content and news services, and package news inserts.
In addition, pay TV operator MultiChoice has give 1KZN TV and Mpuma Kapa TV a grant to improve their news coverage capabilities and establish news bureaus in their respective provinces. These grants will cover production equipment such as cameras, lighting, sound and computers, as well as training and technical support.
Newzroom Afrika CEO Thabile Ngwato said: “Our vision to be Africa’s leading credible news and information service will continue to be reflected in this new initiative. Supporting regional channels is a key portion of our overall strategy, which sees us delivering world-class offerings at every touchpoint.”
Edwin Mncwango, CEO of 1KZN TV, added: “In its quest to provide an authentic voice to the people of KwaZulu-Natal, 1KZN TV has been wanting to expand its news coverage. This partnership – made possible by MultiChoice – will enable us to do just that, while also building our capacity through professional training and assistance.”
Motse Mfuleni, chair of the board at Mpuma Kapa TV, said: “Mpuma Kapa TV is excited to be part of this new venture as we open up the Eastern Cape to the country and continent. As the leading broadcaster in the province, our news bureau can now open opportunities to train and shape a new generation of journalists and news reporters from the Eastern Cape.”
MultiChoice South Africa’s CEO Nyiko Shiburi added: “Regional TV stations are the lifeline for news and stories in their communities. We are committed to supporting and enabling them to improve the quality of broadcasting at grassroots level. Their partnerships with Newzroom Afrika will elevate local news to a national stage. Our hyperlocal strategy is about growing and telling local stories, and through this initiative we are seeing it in action.”
Newzroom Afrika, a South African 24-hour digital satellite television news channel that broadcasts across Africa on DStv, is one year old.
The news channel was launched by MultiChoice on DStv 405 and is a partnership between television production entrepreneurs Thabile Ngwato and Thokozani Nkosi, the network’s co-CEOs.
Nkosi said: “We couldn’t be prouder of the way our news team has responded to Covid-19 – the biggest story of our lifetimes – with courage, total commitment to their craft and unflinching professionalism. In one incredibly eventful news year, spanning everything from national elections to the coronavirus pandemic, Newzroom Afrika has cemented its place as the channel of choice for up-to-the-minute, authoritative news coverage, delivered with passion by our journalists and respected team of anchors.”
Ngwato added: “Our journey from new kid on the block a year ago to where we are now, as a trusted and valued presence in the daily lives of our viewers, has been earned through the relentless commitment of the entire team. But we know this is a highly competitive space and we have to maintain our edge or be left behind. We will use the occasion of our one-year anniversary to review our progress and accelerate our strategy to keep growing.”
The partners revealed that at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Newzroom Afrika would strive to give accurate reporting, fearless unbiased journalism and the human story pride of place in its reporting.
“The one thing that will not change is our absolute commitment to the truth; we will always tackle the issues head-on, with people at the centre of everything we do. Our stories have the power to stir emotions and stimulate debate and we are very conscious of the great responsibility that comes with that,” said Ngwato.
Pay TV operator MultiChoice Africa has introduced a new channel on its DStv platform across the continent.
Newzroom Afrika, a 24-hour news network, is now available to subscribers to DStv’s Access, Family, Compact, Compact Plus and Premium package.
The channel covers content ranging from breaking news to in-depth analysis, business, sports, expert panel discussions and unique insights into the African continent.
Newzroom Afrika co-founder and co-CEO Thabile Ngwato said: “We believe viewers are hungry for a different perspective that is fully independent and puts their interests first. We made sure, in designing our editorial structure and choosing the members of our editorial board, to hardwire the highest levels of rigour and independence into our newsroom.
“We are excited to be broadcasting into the rest of Africa, as this has been the plan from the very beginning.”
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment at MultiChoice, added: “We are proud to bring this news channel to more of our DStv customers across the continent. The addition of Newzroom Afrika will increase the diversity of voices and perspectives in Africa’s news media spaces.”
Newzroom Afrika claims to have unmatched remote broadcasting capabilities, cutting-edge systems and technology that allows for high-definition broadcast and enables journalists roam wherever the news takes them. It can be found on DStv channel 405.