Taking a medium term view, there has been an interesting shift as regards the prospects of press self-regulation in South Africa - and it's positive. This is the gist of my research paper presented at the SA Communications organisation conference in Potchefstroom today. SEPT 2010: Here's an updated version in the light of subsequent developments.
Squeezed into some 60 pages is a review of how digitisation is impacting on media in Southern Africa, and especially how the new digi-scape is impacting on state-owned broadcasters. It's been produced for distribution at the 13th Highway Africa conference to a mass of influential people in journalism and journalism education.
The government's Department of Communications has done well to revive the 1990s tradition of consultative policy development, with its recent discussion paper on the future of public broadcasting"
The Department has publicised pretty well the opportunity to respond to the 67 (not kidding!) questions raised in the paper, and it has also held physical stakeholder meetings around the country.
Discussions of media often conflate description and prescription: media is assessed in terms of what it does do through a framework that highlights what it should do.
This is especially evident in two recent books, which were the subject of a panel discussion at the August 2009 annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).