Skip to main content

South Africa Now collection

 Collection
Call Number: MS 1818

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of videotapes and a small number of transcripts, log books, and publicity files relating to the television program South Africa Now, produced by Globalvision from 1988 to 1991. It includes a nearly complete run of tapes of the approximately 150 newscasts produced during the three year run of the program as well as approximately 2000 tapes of interviews, short reports, documentaries, stock footage, and other footage used in the program's production.

The collection includes visual documentation of the final years of apartheid in South Africa and includes interviews with and other significant footage of anti-apartheid leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Walter Sisulu, Albertina Sisulu, Albie Sachs, Joe Slovo, Thabo Mbeki, Allan Boesak, Oliver Tambo, Beyers Naude, and many others. It also documents the activities of the South African government and its leaders, particularly P.W. Botha and F. W. De Klerk. Many organizations also receive extensive coverage, such as the African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and the South-West African Peoples Organization (SWAPO). Many editions of the program included the segment "Frontline Focus," which reported the news in the southern African states of Angola, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. South Africa Now produced at least one cultural segment per show. The collection, therefore, contains footage of South African artists, playwrights, musicians, authors, and filmmakers, including Athol Fugard, Hugh Masakela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mzwakhe Mbuli, Johnny Klegg, Gcina Mhlopher, Peter Magubane, and Nadine Gordimer. Finally, the collection documents the activities of the international anti-apartheid movement that put political and economic pressure on South Africa to end the system of apartheid.

Dates

  • Circa 1978-1994
  • Majority of material found within 1988 - 1991

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research. The entire collection, with the exception of the paper files in boxes 2384-2391, is digitized. Researchers must use the digital copies instead of the originals. Original audiovisual materials, as well as preservation and duplicating masters, may not be played. Researchers must consult use copies. Researchers wishing to obtain an additional copy for their personal use should consult Copying Services information on the Manuscripts and Archives web site. Copies of commercially produced audiovisual materials contained in this collection cannot be made for researcher use outside of the repository.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright to materials in Series I and Series XVIII has been transferred to Yale University for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Globalvision, 2003.

Arrangement

Arranged in eighteen series: I. Episodes, 1988-1991; II. Short Reports, circa 1985-1991; III. Documentaries, 1980-1991; IV. Stock Footage, circa 1987-1990; V. Interviews, circa 1978-1991; VI. Cultural Tapes, circa 1979-1991; VII. American Protest, 1986-1991; VIII. Other Network Footage, 1985-1991; IX. Jesse Jackson Diaries, 1986; X. United Nations TV, 1988-1989; XI. Stills, circa 1988-1990; XII. Miscellaneous PAL Tapes, 1984-1990; XIII. Mandela in America, 1990; XIV. South African Tourism Board, 1983-1988, undated; XV. Footage from Independent Producers from South Africa, 1984-1989; XVI. South African Footage, 1989-1990; XVII. Reports about South Africa Now, circa 1988-1991; XVIII. Miscellaneous Unnumbered Tapes, 1987-circa 1990; XIX. Paper Logs and Publicity Files, circa 1988-1994.

Extent

319.01 Linear Feet (2,512 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.1818

Overview

The collection consists of videotapes and a small number of transcripts, log books, and publicity files relating to the television program South Africa Now, produced by Globalvision from 1988 to 1991. It includes a nearly complete run of tapes of the approximately 150 newscasts produced during the three year run of the program as well as approximately 2000 tapes of interviews, short reports, documentaries, stock footage, and other footage used in the program's production. The show documents various aspects of South African politics, government, and culture during the final years of apartheid.

Biographical / Historical

The television news program South Africa Now first aired in April 1988. The program actively sought to fill a perceived void in news coverage of South Africa and the anti-apartheid movement in particular, stemming from media censorship measures instituted by the South African government in 1986. Produced by Globalvision, Inc., a television production company founded in 1987 by Rory O'Connor and Danny Schechter to focus on global human rights issues, South Africa Now ran weekly on public television stations throughout the United States and in fifteen other countries. Segments of the program occasionally received even wider distribution when they were aired on the CNN's Weekly World Report.

The program covered South African news, produced background and investigative reports on the affairs of South Africa and neighboring states, and provided cultural features documenting South African theater, musicians, writers, and artists. In the three years it ran, the program covered a highly turbulent era in South African history that saw severe repression of black and colored South Africans, the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, and the end of the apartheid system. Because its reporters and producers were not welcome in South Africa, the show relied primarily on material culled from the South African news, European sources, and footage shot by independent producers in South Africa and smuggled out of the country. Regular anchors, reporters, and other contributors included Carolyn Craven, Fana Kakana, Thandeka Gqubule, Mweli Mzizi, Phillip Tomlinson, Joseph Diescho, and Eric Nadler.

Globalvision ceased production of South Africa Now in April 1991, due to lack of operating funds. Shortly before the last show aired, Globalvision, Inc. received a George Polk Award for Journalistic Excellence in recognition of South Africa Now.

Appraisal

Box 2370, Tape T1, McNeil/Lehrer NewsHour report on South Africa Now, 1988 Oct 26, was unplayable and removed from the collection.

Existence and Location of Copies

The entire collection, with the exception of the paper files in boxes 2384-2391, is available in digital form through Manuscripts and Archives.

General

This collection was digitized through the generous support of the Arcadia Foundation.

Processing Information

Due to a numbering anomaly and the separation of an unplayable tape from the collection, there is no box 605 or 2370 in the collection.
Title
Guide to the South Africa Now Collection
Author
compiled by Tom Hyry and Annemarie Strassel
Date
September 2004
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • November 2013: finding aid revisiion description not supplied

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)