A collection of scholarly works on media policy reforms in Southern Africa has been launched at Rhodes University in South Africa.
The book, Media Policy in a Changing Southern Africa was edited by two Zimbabwean scholars, Dr Dumisani Moyo, an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Literature and Languages at Wits University and Wallace Chuma from the University of Cape Town.
The book seeks to bridge the gap in the policy and regulatory sphere, as not so much has been written about in the region.
“This book is an attempt to review media reforms that have taken place in the last 20 years,” said Dr Moyo.
The book traces the media policy reforms that have taken place in the six Southern African countries namely Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, since the Windhoek Declaration of 1991.
“A lot has happened since and there is not much that has written about by African scholars. What we are doing is sort of taking stock of what has happened since the broadcasting charter was drawn up in Windhoek,” added Dr Moyo.
The book is ideal for those in media policy advocacy as well as for students and the public in general. A major strength of the book is its focus on policy-making across media sectors, including broadcasting, print and the new information and communication technologies. It represents an effort to bring to debate on media policy reform back to the centre, to initiate a stock taking exercise.
Another book also launched during the ongoing WJEC here is, Challenges and Perspectives of Digital Migration for African Media by Professor Guy Berger, head of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University.
The book sets out the issues involved in digital transformation in broadcast media from the viewpoint of African media stakeholders and especially, community radio stations. It aims to correct widespread misconceptions that analogue radio will cease to exist in the next five years as part of ‘digital migration’.