Radio is being changed by the rise of digital communications – particularly those that are cellphone-based. Call-ins and live-reports are common, thanks to mobiles. SMS comments and polls are common. Twitter and Facebook (and Mxit in the case of Radio Grahamstown) integration allows for expanded interaction with audiences.
So, should radio itself go digital? To be sure some radio services are digital, being available to audiences live or downloaded on the Internet. But traditional dissemination via the airwaves is still analogue.
And he argues that the related global standards for legitimate limitation of some kinds of speech apply equally to the online world.
South Africa is missing a trick or ten, thanks to our silo policy approach to broadcast and broadband.
You may have thought these two realms, which share the character of being "broad" - and more importantly, will share a digital character sooner rather than later, were a natural for convergent treatment.
It was the end of a long day for Kader Asmal, then Minister of Education. He'd wrestled with the disaster of schooling in the country, then had a long meeting with the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef). It was circa 2004, and I was part of the Sanef delegation. The memory came to me this week when hearing the news of his death.
Our request for the Sanef meeting with the Minister was twofold:
Journalists like to see journalists as heroes. That’s excluding their peers in state-owned media in Africa who are more usually propagandists rather than journalists.
On the other side of the fence, governments typically like to see journalists as villains, while civil society – sitting on the fence – sees them as flawed heroes, tainted by commercial considerations.
Audiences are more sanguine. They see some journalists as angels, some as devils.