Summit to find solutions for community media sector

Friday, July 27, 2018

The upcoming Community Media Summit is expected to craft a lasting solution to support the community media sector, says Acting CEO of the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Zukiswa Potye.

“We aim to emerge from the summit with concrete proposals on which to develop a comprehensive programme of action,” Potye said in a statement on Friday.

The summit will bring all sectors of the community media, including print, radio, television and multi-media, together with government and relevant stakeholders, to explore new and innovative solutions to the challenges facing the sector for the short, medium and long-term.

The summit will be held next Monday and Tuesday in Johannesburg under the theme ‘Taking community media to the future’.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane and Communications Deputy Minister Pinky Kekana will address the summit as a way of indicating their commitment to the future, ongoing growth and sustainability of this critical sector within South Africa’s media landscape.

“As important drivers of media pluralism and freedom of expression, community media are the heart-beat of the communities, often located in provinces with limited economic activities, high unemployment and social inequalities.

“In such circumstances, community media elevates voices from marginalised communities, serving as a powerful platform to raise awareness around grassroots issues. Such principles of active citizenship are critical to the achievement of the National Development Plan objectives of social cohesion and nation building,” the MDDA said.

The MDDA, together with the Department of Communications, and in collaboration with other entities, is hosting the summit.

As a partnership between the South African government and major print and broadcasting companies, the MDDA promotes and assists in the development of community media and small commercial media in South Africa. It also helps with the transformation of media by providing support including financial and capacity building. –