The first glimpse of the newscast shows that it has real potential, with politicians able to quickly and directly address pressing issues.
On Wednesday night Openview’s latest locally commissioned show, OpenNews, broadcast its first newscast.

OpenNews, unlike other on-air news broadcasts in South Africa, allows the public and newsmakers to interact with news anchors by sending WhatsApp videos when the newscast is on air.

One of the major selling points is that OpenNews encourages video clips of news and analysis to be sent to the news team. The other major difference is that it is broadcast from e.tv’s Cape Town studios.

At the launch of OpenNews at the Cape Town studios, CEO of eMedia Holdings Andre van der Veen said the concept was to disrupt the news space in the country, including eMedia Holdings’ own eNCA.

“We told the team not to be scared to pitch an opinion. News today is too careful. We need to say on the channel what we all think in our minds. The job of OpenNews firstly is to express what we think,” Van der Veen said.

To make that dream a reality, Naledi Moleo, Koketso Sachane and Ayanda Dlamini were hired to guide viewers through the day’s trending news, including the top celebrity and show business stories.

Adrian Botha will anchor the channel’s sports coverage and Inge Isaacs will keep viewers informed about the latest weather developments.

They will be joined by field reporters from across the country who will use smartphones to bring breaking news to the screen.

There’s no concern that it will come across as amateur since the way news is consumed has changed so much since social media connected the world.

Nisa Allie, managing director of OpenNews, said the channel would fill a gap in the current television news market.

“It will offer viewers an entirely new way of experiencing the news. Sharing the screen with our anchors is a team of savvy video journalists who will approach news in a fresh, punchy, fluid and engaging way.

“Using the latest technology, we are moving away from the traditional format and merging television news with social media.

“Our anchors are young, opinionated and sassy. They are informed and ready to engage on a range of topics,” Allie added.

an der Veen is excited about the kind of content that will be created by the team. “Their job is to push the boundaries,” he said.

Allie added: “The concept behind it is we don’t want to talk down to people. We want viewers to feel engaged and see us as approachable.”

The new studio was built with this purpose in mind, with researchers in the same space as anchors, screens showing trending news on social media like Twitter and studio cameras capturing the bustle of the newsroom.

“The difference is we have hired young, talented journalists using the latest technology to bring you the news. They will use cellphones to film their primary content and doing so changes the way we consume news. The reality is we consume anything engaging regardless of the format.”

The first glimpse of the newscast shows that it has real potential, with politicians able to quickly and directly address pressing issues.

OpenNews will broadcast daily from 5pm to 11pm on Openview channel 120. Outside those six hours, the new channel has partnered with international broadcasters to provide news content from a global perspective.

Source: The Ciizen – Adriaan Roets