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Radio in South Africa: Lecture 1. FAM2000F Writing and Editing in the Media Dr. Tanja E. Bosch, 14th April 2008. Radio: The invisible medium?. Radio survived the competition it faced from television in the 1950s. Radio has become so omnipresent that we take it for granted.

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radio in south africa lecture 1

Radio in South Africa: Lecture 1

FAM2000F Writing and Editing in the Media Dr. Tanja E. Bosch, 14th April 2008

radio the invisible medium
Radio: The invisible medium?
  • Radio survived the competition it faced from television in the 1950s.
  • Radio has become so omnipresent that we take it for granted.
  • Radio’s main advantage is it’s portability.
  • As a mass medium, radio has developed into a highly fragmented audience and revenue base.
the characteristics of radio
The characteristics of radio
  • Radio has become personalized.
  • Radio forms an integral part of the daily routine.
  • Radio provides white noise.
  • Radio is immediate.
  • Radio is real/ “theatre of the mind”
history of radio in south africa
History of radio in South Africa
  • South African Railways - 1923
  • Scientific and Technical Club - 1924
  • Cape and Peninsula Broadcasting Association - September 15, 1924
  • Durban organization - Dec 10, 1924
  • African Broadcasting Company - 1927
  • South African Broadcasting Corporation - Act No.22 of 1936
  • Springbok Radio - 1 May 1950
history of radio in south africa1
History of radio in South Africa
  • Rediffusion service - Aug 1, 1952
  • June, 1962: Tswana and North Sotho (Pretoria)
  • Jan, 1963: Zulu (Durban)
  • June, 1963: Xhosa (Grahamstown)
  • Feb, 1965: Venda and Tsonga (Northern Transvaal)
  • FM broadcasts began on Sept 1, 1961
  • Five FM - first nationwide FM - 1988
sabc radio services
SABC Radio Services
  • Public Commercial Services
    • Metro FM, 5FM
  • Public Broadcast Services
    • Focus on indigenous languages e.g. SAFM, RSG, Umhlobo Wenene, Lotus FM etc
  • Private Commercial Radio
    • Six lucrative SABC stations were privatized. Including Highveld Stereo, Radio Jacaranda, KFM, Radio Algoa etc
      • *8 new commercial radio licenses granted in 1997
structure of radio in south africa
Structure of radio in South Africa
  • Three tier broadcasting system
    • Public broadcaster, commercial, community
  • Prior to 1994 the SABC was a state broadcaster and NP mouthpiece.
  • The only two independent stations were Radio 702 and Capitol Radio.
  • No other private broadcasters and no policy/ legislative framework.
sabc radio overview
SABC Radio: Overview
  • Owned by the state, derives income from advertising and license fees.
  • Mandated to provide a commercial and public service (funded by the former).
  • Commercial stations include 5FM, Metro FM and Channel Africa.
  • The public broadcasting arm includes cultural services in all 11 official languages.
  • South African Indian (Lotus FM) and San communities (X-K FM)
  • The largest radio station in South Africa: Ukhozi FM with 6.38 million listeners per week.
sabc radio and identity
SABC: Radio and identity
  • It became a political and commercial liability to be the “voice of government”.
  • SABC’s new radio portfolio launched on 28 September 1996.
  • 16 stations with new names and identities completed its visible transformation.
  • The central policy issue was how liberalization could be regulated and made consistent with aims of nation building, development and democratization.
  • SABC implemented key transformation strategies in programming, news etc
repositioning radio
Repositioning radio
  • The new purpose was to compete effectively in a deregulated environment.
  • Language stations were urgently upgraded.
  • 11 African language stations aimed at reaching 80% of native speakers by 1997.
  • Radio stations received new names to mark their relaunch.
  • Afrikaans Stereo was renamed Radio Sonder Grense (RSG).
  • SAFM launched in March 1995.
radio regulation in sa
Radio regulation in SA
  • IBA:The Independent Broadcasting Authority was formed after elections in SA in 1994 to regulate the telecommunications industry.
  • ICASA:The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) is the regulator of telecommunications and the broadcasting sectors.
radio regulation in sa1
Radio regulation in SA
  • ICASA’s main role is to:
    • make regulations and policies that govern broadcasting and telecommunications
    • issue licenses
    • monitor the environment and enforce compliance with rules, regulations and policies
    • hear and decide on disputes and complaints brought by industry or members of the public against licensees
    • plan, control and manage the frequency spectrum and  
    • protect consumers from unfair business practices, poor quality services and harmful or inferior products.
radio regulation in sa2
Radio regulation in SA
  • SAMRO: The South African Music Rights Organization controls the broadcast of all music.
  • NAB: The NAB is the voice of South Africa’s broadcasting industry. NAB is primarily a lobbying group and it has a commercial and a community sector.
  • NCRF: The National Community Radio Forum (NCRF) was launched on December 1993, in Orlando, Soweto, in order to lobby for the diversification of the airwaves in South Africa, and to foster a dynamic broadcasting environment in the country through the establishment of community radio stations.
radio regulation in sa3
Radio regulation in SA
  • MDDA: The Media Development and Diversity Agency was set up by an Act of Parliament (Act 14 of 2002) to enable "historically disadvantaged communities and persons not adequately served by the media" to gain access to the media.
  • BCCSA: The BCCSA was set up by the National Association of Broadcasters of Southern Africa in 1993 to adjudicate and mediate complaints against a broadcaster who has signed its Code of Conduct.