Media Diversity


Community Radios: game-changers in Africa’s media landscape
11 Apr 2016

Community Radios: game-changers in Africa’s media landscape

Community radio stations have profoundly changed how people perceive radio in Africa. The stations empower citizens by making them both producers and consumers of information, but they also face serious challenges to their long-term survival. The number of community radio stations in Africa has skyrocketed since the passing of the Windhoek Declaration 25 years ago and the African Charter on Broadcasting in 2001. In 1985,...

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African Charter on Broadcasting 2001
11 Apr 2016

African Charter on Broadcasting 2001

The section pertaining to public broadcasting: All State and government controlled broadcasters should be transformed into public service broadcasters, that are accountable to all strata of the people as represented by an independent board, and that serve the overall public interest, avoiding one-sided reporting and programming in regard to religion, political belief, culture, race and gender. Public service broadcasters should, like broadcasting and telecommunications regulators,...

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The rise and fall of public broadcasting in South Africa
11 Apr 2016

The rise and fall of public broadcasting in South Africa

There was a lot of hope around the South African Broadcasting Corporation around the transition to democracy. It seemed a vibrant new media outlet had been formed. But things have changed since then, and not for the better. We really enjoyed them, for a while, the programmes of the new South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) before and after the country’s first democratic elections in 1994....

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National broadcasters in Africa: The politics of non-reform
11 Apr 2016

National broadcasters in Africa: The politics of non-reform

The transformation of state broadcasters into public broadcasters as envisaged by the African Charter on Broadcasting has failed. What is that and what can be done about it? The 1991 Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic Press set the agenda. It recommended convening a seminar “to explore the possibility of applying concepts of independence and pluralism” to radio and television. This was very...

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Activities on the ground are important, too. Photo:  Julie Reid
19 Oct 2015

Diverse media voices fail to reach Africa’s poor

When you have to choose between buying food for your family and purchasing a newspaper, the choice is simple. If you live in Africa, the type and amount of media you get largely depends on where you live, which languages you speak and how much money you have. Many people, particularly the poor, have little or no choice about the media they receive. The reality...

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Private media struggle against Africa’s state-owned Goliaths
08 Mar 2015

Private media struggle against Africa’s state-owned Goliaths

Can the rise of private media in Africa scale back the dominance of state-owned media on the continent? That is the hope of many, but the current state of media pluralism and diversity in Africa is not as healthy as it might be. Things look good – at first glance. In nearly all countries in Africa, the once monopolistic state-owned media are now facing competition...

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