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The BEAT reporter Lizzy Bapela was turned away from taking pictures at a community choirs’ festival at the Bela-Bela Township’s multi-purpose centre.
Bapela said she was invited at the event by one of the officials.
However, when she arrived at the entrance a doorman insisted that entry fee was R70.
When she explained that she was from a newspaper, the doorman summoned another lady from inside the hall.
“The lady made it very clear I either paid the R70 entry fee or would not be allowed into the hall,” she said.
The BEAT editor, Johnny Masilela, said many community-based events management companies did not understand the benefits of a close relationship with the media.
Well-placed companies nationally and internationally set aside massive budgets to attract the attention of the media, he explained.
“For instance, when I was a younger reporter I attended many soccer matches at Loftus Versfeld Stadium and elsewhere hosted by one or another sponsor, feted in the most luxurious suites,” he said.
He said even at the local level politicians and many community-based groupings made a continued footpath into The BEAT offices, because they understand the benefits of working with a widely-read newspaper.
Masilela suggested it was in the best interests of those who hosted the choirs’ festival event to engage with the newspaper, to chart the way forward.
“Otherwise it would be impossible to dispatch a reporter to events where they are expected to part with money,” Masilela added.
14 months ago 04 May 2018