The producers of Z News, a news satire co-developed by award winning South African cartoonist Zapiro, is seeking alternative distribution channels after the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) pulled the plug on the show before the pilot even aired. The SABC reportedly spent close to R1 million on development before the show got canned. Zapiro is often criticised by senior government figures for his politically inconvenient views of Zuma and other members of the ANC leadership.
The producers are currently in discussions with numerous major online publishers to offer them a daily feed of the show, with revenue being generated through a mix of syndication fees, sponsorship/ advertising and mobile downloads. “It’s a new model for South Africa, but potentially a great way to bypass TV and provide uniquely local, healthy and much needed satire. Especially in the run-up to the elections,” says producer Thierry Cassuto. Here is a short clip that shows how the TV pilot of Z News was produced, and reveals the bodies and the voices behind the puppets of Zuma, Mbeki, Zille, Manto, etc.