VIEWERS from the UK will soon be able to view African news coverage and content from e News Channel as the South African news network prepares to launch a rebranded channel — eNCA — on the UK Sky network bouquet.
It will be broadcast to the UK audience of the Sky Broadcasting Group, which has more than 10-million subscribers.
The new logo and "look" was launched last night.
Senior eNews anchor Iman Rappetti said the development presented eNews with an opportunity to report on African content to a new market. "We will continue to do news as we have been doing it — but now the people in the UK will be able to see it. We have reported with high standards and integrity and will continue to do so," Ms Rappetti said.
Africa 360 presenter Chris Maroleng said eNews, through the establishment of the UK network, would provide objective reporting on the African continent.
"Often Africa is covered by international media in the form of stereotypes. Those stereotypes normally present Africa as a continent pervaded by doom and gloom. We believe countries on the African continent — amidst the global economic recession — have performed in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) and commodity booms," Mr Maroleng said.
He said the eNews African Edition would appear during the UK’s prime time, and would serve to portray an African perspective on Africa, and "the way in which Africans see the rest of the world".
eNCA head of news Patrick Conroy has established bureaus in Kenya and Nigeria, which allow the channel to report on news with a pan-African perspective to the UK.
"The eNews channel has worked very successfully for us. There is still a lot of work we want to do on the channel, and much to improve on," Mr Conroy said.
"For some media outlets, interacting with a foreign viewer, reader or audience is nothing new. Your articles are read all over the world, you radio reports are streamed, but for us this is something new. It’s an exciting time for us. "
Mr Conroy said the reason for the new branding and logo for eNCA was to gain prominence in the international market, and to differentiate it from other media brands, such as the American network E! Entertainment, for example.
"It is difficult as a brand to travel internationally. We’re very well known in SA, but we’re an unknown quantity in Europe, North America and elsewhere," Mr Conroy said.
eNCA, through the Sky bouquet platform, aims to deliver content to "global citizens" and South Africans who live or work in the UK.
Broadcast researcher Kate Skinner applauded the new venture for its potential to report on African stories from an African perspective. "This is a good thing because there is more African news being broadcast to the rest of the