Justin Bieber in a penis suit just another day in the office for ZANews

by Herman Manson (@marklives) I’m trying to figure out what the two, ahem, balls attached to the front of the fluffy pink bunny suit could possibly indicate.

“Oh – that was for our Halloween edition. It’s a penis and we put Justin Bieber in it,” says a voice from somewhere to my right.

I’m in the costume room of the only in show in SA that would feature a giant penis sporting the Bieber’s face on air – or as the ZANews website puts it ” the only news show more ghastly than the SABC.” It’s ZANews producer Thierry Cassuto and his teams’ literal take on the boy-man as an over-exposed sex symbol.

ZANews is the satirical puppet show produced online and for TopTV by Cassuto and his team. Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) is a business partner in the venture. The day before this interview ZANews won the ‘Best Editorial Team’ category, amongst others, at the digital industry award show the Bookmarks Awards.

Spoof ad takes aim at Julius Malema’s tax troubles

ZANews, the satirical puppet TV and web show that comments on South Africa’s news and political landscape, has released a spoof of the latest SA Revenue TV commercial, this time featuring Julius Malema and playing up his tax troubles . The show is produced by Thierry Cassuto and cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro.

Drop the banner ad niched local online media brands told

by Herman Manson (@marklives) The great global online media brands like MSN, Yahoo!, Google and Facebook are well represented in the South African market, either through locally owned sales partners, through JVs with local media companies or through a local subsidiary.

Their big numbers mean they get a lot of attention, as does a series of established home grown online brands, like iafrica.com, ITWeb, and Moneyweb. But what of the young guns, the content start-ups, the independents making do without well resourced sales teams?

Sites like Mahala, the pre-eminent online youth mag in South Africa, 10and5.com, SA’s leading creative portfolio site, or ZA News, which hosts the show Zapiro created show no local TV station would touch?

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