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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rethinking media diversity policy on the community press in South Africa
Author:Duncan, JaneISNI
Periodical:Communicatio: South African journal for communication theory and research (ISSN 1753-5379)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:media policy
African National Congress (South Africa)
cultural pluralism
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02500167.2015.1117504
Abstract:It has been well acknowledged by media historians that South Africa had a vibrant grassroots community press under apartheid, which declined with the advent of democracy. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has supported media diversity in its media policy and has also criticised the supposedly anti-transformative nature of mainstream agenda-setting press. It has called for a range of measures to counteract this problem, including media diversity and intensified support for community media. However, apart from the establishment of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), in its practices in government, the ANC has adopted a market-driven approach to the development of the sector, leaving questions of market structure to the Competition Commission and Tribunal. Evidence from the community press suggests that this approach, which amounts to an adaptation to neoliberalism, but with a public service top-up, is inadequate to the task of realising diversity. As a result, the community press is facing deep crisis. The article considers why the ANC has adopted an incoherent, even contradictory approach to press diversity, and what policy measures are needed to encourage the sorts of vibrant community press that a democratic South Africa needs. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]