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Business & Technology
Feb 10 2013 9:39PM
New Age slams ‘misleading’ City Press report
South Africa’s media ownership and control is still predominantly concentrated in the hands of previously privileged. Picture: Gallo Images
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The CEO of The New Age Nazeem Howa has hit back at a “misleading” report in City Press on Sunday on advertising in The New Age.

It was the City Press’s second such report on advertising in The New Age in less than a month.

It was about the support of Telkom for The New Age, without any reference to Telkom’s support for City Press, its sister newspapers and the Naspers group’s broadcast channels.

Howa said City Press misled its readers by a failure to provide context in its news coverage.

“Naturally, revealing that information would not suit the interests of City Press and its owners.

“For instance, City Press, between January and November last year, garnered more than R145 million of advertising from parastals, the government and provincial departments. For a weekly paper, it’s doing pretty well on advertising paid for by taxpayers.”

Howa said City Press was in cahoots with the leader of the DA who used her influence over some of the local media to continue to spread innuendo, lies and half-truths about The New Age.

“Twelve days ago we offered to subject The New Age to an independent audit to test Zille’s allegations. Our public offer has been met with a deafening silence by Zille.”

Howa said Zille and her supporters continued to misrepresent The New Age’s event-sponsorship model as an abuse of taxpayers’ money.

“The tactic is simple. Some competitors, with the assistance of the DA, wish to scare our clients into reducing their advertising support for The New Age. Major focus has been brought on the parastatals which support The New Age as well as advertising placed by government departments in the paper.

“The City Press headline and sub-head yesterday [Sunday] – Telkom in a New Age and Government-friendly paper is funded by state-owned entities – are revealing.

“It’s similar to the patronising and racist mindset of some of opposition politicians who imply that the senior executives like Pinky Moholi at Telkom, Brian Molefe at Transnet, Brian Dames at Eskom and others who run parastatals don’t know what they are doing and do not apply their minds when they spend their budgets.

“By implication, City Press is saying these CEOs and their management teams are incompetent and corrupt. In my view, City Press’s story is part of an ongoing and sustained narrative that says since black people (read the ANC) have taken over the running of our government, major corporations and parastatals, those involved are inherently corrupt,” Howa said.