Response to Green Paper
Compiled by the Department of Journalism and Media Studies
      edited by Guy Berger, Feb 1998

The Green Paper approach to policy making is intended to involve the public as a precursor to a White Paper. The White Paper in turn represents the Government's approach and serves to inform legislation and regulation.

This approach to policy formulation is to be welcomed, and is in accordance with a democratic dispensation in South Africa. Broadcasting affects the daily lives of all citizens, can have long term catalytic effects in economic upliftment and is a vital means of providing people with information to make informed political choices at the ballot box.

However, in order to facilitate the widest public participation in policy making, sufficient information does need to be provided. There are certain deficiencies in the Green Paper in this respect (for example, there is insufficient information on the contents of the IBA Act and the IBA's triple enquiry reports). For public response to be elicited from the White Paper, all relevant information (such as that around the IBA) should be provided as part of this document when it emerges. Several other areas of information are detailed in this response, all of which, it is argued, ought to be contained within the coming White Paper.

The result will be a policy that not only enjoys legitimacy by being adopted by an elected government, but which will enjoy a sense of "ownership" by a broad spectrum of interest groups - and be enriched by their many useful suggestions.

It is in this context that the response is made. Policy or process recommendations arising from the points below are highlighted in bold face.



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