CALL FOR PAPERS : Public Service Broadcasting in Africa: Continuity and Change in the 21st Century
Conference organised by Communication and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster, with support from UNESCO and BBC Media Action
Date: Saturday 2nd March 2013
Venue: University of Westminster, Regent Campus, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW
The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Africa
Public service broadcasting is still important for Africa and other developing regions. There are, however, questions about the next generation of public service broadcasting and issues about the continued relevance of the public service broadcasting model. Are we witnessing the disappearance of BBC-type of public service broadcasting in Africa? There is increasing evidence that this may be so.
The growing dominance of community, private and commercial broadcasting in countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana is calling for a rethink of a license-fee funded broadcasting model and a switch of ads to these broadcasters, damaging the financial base for public service broadcasters, and more and more closures.
As for TV, the younger generation is switching to viewing on platforms other than the TV set. As license fees are mostly based on the TV set within a household, this reduces willingness to pay the license fee. Additionally, as more and more channels appear, the audiences for PSBs are eroding in many African countries.
Public Service radio is still strong in countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya but in others it has evolved into commercial models, with little informational content.
In many parts of Africa, state broadcasters still have public service broadcasting aspirations, but the reality is all too often government control.
Nonetheless, the need for trusted information about national and local developments is as crucial as ever, as is the need for programming to celebrate national cultures, explain social change projects, and to offer relevant, quality entertainment for all ages and ethnic groups.
For all these reasons, new thinking on public service broadcasting in Africa is urgently needed. This is why the University of Westminster is inviting students, researchers, academics, practitioners, policymakers and thinkers to look ahead and identify how public service broadcasting can be helped to survive and develop in the
The themes explored in the one-day workshop are likely to include:
1. The concept of public service broadcasting in a changing Africa
2. New funding models for public service broadcasting in Africa
3. Public service broadcasting and censorship in Africa
4. Public service broadcasting funding models in Africa and sustainability
5. Audiences for public service broadcasting in Africa
6. Political pressures on public service broadcasting news in Africa
7. Regulation of public service broadcasting in Africa
8. New formats for Public service broadcasting in Africa
9. Young African audiences, new ICTs and public service broadcasting
10. Politics of managing public service broadcasting stations in Africa
11. Alternative models to public service broadcasting in Africa
12. Political, social and cultural roles of public broadcasting in Africa
Please send a 300-word abstract by 24 January, 2013. Successful
applicants will be notified by 31 January, 2013. They must include the
presenter’s name, affiliation, email and postal address, together with the
paper’s title. Please send abstracts to Helen Cohen at [email protected]
Programme and Registration
The fee for registration (which applies to all participants, including
presenters) will be £99, with a concessionary rate of £49 for students, to
cover all conference documentation, refreshments, lunch and administration
costs. Registration will open at the end of January 2013.
Please note that the above event is preceded by a related one-day workshop on “New
Thinking on Public Service Broadcasting for the Next Generation” that is also organised by Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), University of Westminster, with support from UNESCO and BBC Media Action. It will be held at the University of Westminster, Regent Campus, 309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW, UK, on Friday 1 March 2013, 9am-6.30pm.
Confirmed Speakers Include:
Akinori Hashimoto,Head of News
Production Division, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
of Policy and Learning, BBC Media Action
Elizabeth Smith,former Secretary
General, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
Greg Dyke,former BBC Director
General (keynote speaker)
General, European Broadcasting Union
Kip Meek,Special Adviser,
Everything, Everywhere and ex Ofcom
General, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA)
For more information contact Helen Cohen, Events Administrator [email protected] Registration will open at the end of January 2013.
Dr. Winston Mano
Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI)
Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
School of Media, Arts and Design
University of Westminster
Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3TP, UK
Tel: +44(0)2079115000 ext 4427
E-mail: [email protected]
Radio has played a pivotal role in Africa situations of conflict, crisis, and in the overall development of the African continent. No other medium of communication in Africa comes close to radio in terms of audience, political significance and cultural power.
- Worrying trends at South Africa’s public broadcaster(cpj.org)
- South Africa broadcaster cancels discussion show on ANC cover(news.terra.com)