Broadcasting the rainbow nation: media, democracy and nation-building in South Africa

Barnett, Clive (1999). Broadcasting the rainbow nation: media, democracy and nation-building in South Africa. Antipode, 31(3) pp. 274–303.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8330.00104

Abstract

This paper examines the politics and economics of media reform in South Africa during the 1990s. This process has involved the transformation of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) from a state broadcaster into an independent public service broadcaster, as well as the opening of the airwaves to new entrants in order to extend the diversity of media ownership and programming. The formulation of media policies before and after the elections of 1994 is discussed, with reference to the different interests involved in this process and their differing positions on how broadcasting should be restructured in accordance with new constitutional principles of language equity. The implementation of policies from 1996 to 1998 is critically examined, revealing the contradictory political and economic factors that have shaped the transformation of broadcasting institutions and the performance of independent regulatory bodies

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