media for southern Africa? The place of politics, economics and convergence
in developing media density.
for: CONVERGENCE: TECHNOLOGY, CULTURE AND SOCIAL IMPACTS
International Research Seminar: 6-10 May, 2002
Graduate Programme in Cultural and Media Studies, University of Natal, Durban
Southern African and South-South Working Group on Media, Culture and Communication
Guy Berger, April 2002
line with global trends, media in southern Africa in the past decade has been
moving slowly towards mergers, partnerships and multi-platform publishing. Driven
by politics and facilitated by technology, the process has had to confront the
difficulty of establishing viable economic models, the lack of regional integration
within SADC countries, and what is sometimes a difficult political environment.
Markets remain largely national or local and economically weak. Print media
faces huge hurdles. Broadcast media density is improving, partly through non-commercial
mechanisms. News websites are understaffed, lacking in viable survival strategies
and skills, and are incompletely integrated with parent media platforms. Economic
pressures, however, are likely to force southern African media operations into
greater synergies in search of survival. The various convergences entailed may
increase media density.