Broadcasting in the public interest and thereby empowering citizens should be the basis for public service broadcasting (PSB), with delivery mechanisms to be adapted for the digital age. This was one of the key issues to emerge at the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA), which took place from 17 to 20 August at the La Plantation Hotel & Resort in Mauritius.
Over 90 delegates representing 35 member organisations from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as well as regional and international partners, attended this 16th edition of the SABA AGM.
Says SABA secretary general Arlindo Lopes: “A special intervention by video conference on academic approaches to setting standards for PSB, taking into account the unique regional development priorities within the SADC region, was delivered by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Witwatersrand, Professor Tawana Kupe. This was followed by a keynote address from Dr Javad Motagghi, director of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD). The session revealed the importance of autonomous management models, programming that is cognisant of people’s expectations, and supervisory systems that are immune to political and economic influence.”
The AGM presented SABA’s PSB policy and committed to the Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa, which states that: “State and government controlled broadcasters should be transformed into public service broadcasters, accountable to the public through the legislature rather than the government.”
Read more in the October 2008 issue of Screen Africa