MEDIA STATEMENT | SABC NEWS LAUNCHES A BRAND-NEW PUBLIC ACCOUNTABLITY PROGRAMME, THE WATCHDOG

Johannesburg, Monday 07 June 2021 –SABC News & Current Affairs today launches a brand-new public service journalism programme, The Watchdog. The show is aptly named and centred on the public news service’s commitment to its primary stakeholder, the citizen.
 
The SABC’s Editor-in- Chief, Phathiswa Magopeni, says “the programme is in line with the News division’s public interest obligation, and is aimed at holding the feet of those in power to the fire, and getting them to account to the citizens for their responsibilities, their performance and conduct”.
 
The Watchdog also marks the return of veteran journalist, Vuyo Mvoko, who will be anchoring the show on the SABC News Channel. As a seasoned broadcaster, Mvoko is appropriately experienced and equipped to deliver to the demands of the programme. He says he is delighted to be back, “I couldn’t have asked for a better brief than what this assignment is about. Our country is going through hard times with among others, record-high unemployment, corruption, and service delivery problems. South Africans are asking frank questions that require equally honest interventions”.
 
In line with SABC News’ editorial ethos of Independence and Impartiality, this is a further commitment to the public’s right to know. The Watchdog promises adherence to Kovach & Rosenstiel’s Elements of Journalism, who maintain that “Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth, its first loyalty is to the citizens, and must serve as a monitor of power”.
 
Magopeni adds, “There is a lot that our country is grappling with, including crippling poverty, a stagnant economy and generalised institutional decay. Justifiably so, citizens are demanding productive answers from those responsible for managing public affairs, and The Watchdog seeks to do exactly that”.
 
The Watchdog’s approach is premised on the principles of dialogue, democracy, and accountability. The programme will broadcast live on weekdays for an hour at 20h00 until 21h00, on the SABC News Channel.
 
 
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Issued By:                         Group Communications
Media Enquiries:               Ms. Gugu Ntuli (GE: Corporate Affairs and Marketing)
NtuliGM@sabc.co.za|T. 011 714 3311|C. 071 877 0513