The University of Westminster in London’s Communication and Media Research Institute, supported by the BBC and UNESCO, is hosting a conference on the future of public service broadcasting in Africa.
As such, it is calling for papers on the subject. The University of Westminster is inviting students, researchers, academics, practitioners, policymakers and thinkers to look ahead and identify how public service broadcasting can be helped to survive and develop in the years ahead.
The thinking behind the conference is that while public service broadcasting is still important for Africa and other developing regions, questions have been raised about the next generation of public service broadcasting the continued relevance of the public service broadcasting model.
Questions have been raised as to whether BBC-type of public service broadcasting in Africa is disappearing. There is increasing evidence that this may be so. The growing dominance of community, private and commercial broadcasting in countries such as South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana is calling for a rethink of a license-fee funded broadcasting model and a switch of ads to these broadcasters, damaging the financial base for public service broadcasters, and more and more closures.
Public Service radio is still strong in countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya but in others it has evolved into commercial models, with little informational content.
In many parts of Africa, state broadcasters still have public service broadcasting aspirations, but the reality is all too often government control. Nonetheless, the need for trusted information about national and local developments is as crucial as ever, as is the need for programming to celebrate national cultures, explain social change projects, and to offer relevant, quality entertainment for all ages and ethnic groups.
For all these reasons, new thinking on public service broadcasting in Africa is urgently needed. The themes explored in the one-day workshop are likely to include:
• The concept of public service broadcasting in a changing Africa
• New funding models for public service broadcasting in Africa
• Public service broadcasting and censorship in Africa
• Public service broadcasting funding models in Africa and sustainability
• Audiences for public service broadcasting in Africa
• Political pressures on public service broadcasting news in Africa
• Regulation of public service broadcasting in Africa
• New formats for Public service broadcasting in Africa
• Young African audiences, new ICTs and public service broadcasting
• Politics of managing public service broadcasting stations in Africa
• Alternative models to public service broadcasting in Africa
• Political, social and cultural roles of public broadcasting in Africa
Please send a 300-word abstract by 24 January 2013. Successful applicants will be notified by 31 January 2013. They must include the presenter’s name, affiliation, email and postal address, together with the paper’s title. Please send abstracts to Helen Cohen at email@example.com
Confirmed Speakers Include:
Akinori Hashimoto, Head of News Production Division, NHK
Deane James, Director of Policy and Learning, BBC Media Action
Elizabeth Smith, former Secretary General, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association
Greg Dyke, former BBC Director General (keynote speaker)
Ingrid Deltenre, Director General, European Broadcasting Union
Kip Meek, Special Adviser, Everything, Everywhere and ex Ofcom
Sally-Ann Wilson, Secretary General, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA)
Date: Saturday 2nd March 2013
Venue: University of Westminster, Regent Campus
309 Regent Street, London, W1B 2UW
For more information contact Helen Cohen, Events Administrator H.firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration will open at the end of January 2013.