More media for southern Africa? The place of politics, economics and convergence in developing media density.
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

      by Guy Berger, April 2002

In 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.          


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