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- Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research
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- Volume 29, Issue 1_2, 2003
Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - Volume 29, Issue 1_2, 2003
Volume 29, Issue 1_2, 2003
Source: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 7 –23 (2003)More Less
This article addresses some of the trends and issues as they relate to media and cultural globalisation. Grounded in a fundamental cultural perspective, the problematic of international communication is framed in different views of `local culture', `cultural identity' and `processes of cultural mixing'. In the end, a research framework for the study of cultural globalisation / localisation is outlined. The framework captures the issue of hybridised cultural products from a people centred perspective.
Author Elirea BornmanSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 24 –47 (2003)More Less
This article explores the intricate interrelationships between discourses on, and struggles of, identity and the multiple processes associated with increasing globalisation in the modern age. Globalisation is often exclusively associated with worldwide economic integration and the emergence of a borderless global market. However, globalisation also involves sweeping changes on the social, cultural and political terrains. Globalisation furthermore entails apparently contradictory processes of, among other things, homogenisation and universalisation on the one hand and localisation and differensiation on the other. Various analysts point out that the often contradictory processes of globalisation have led to wide-ranging changes in the processes of identity formation that have, in turn, resulted not only in a flourishing of discourses on identity, but also in struggles of identity involving various minority and marginalised groups. Apart from exploring various definitions of identity, discourses and struggles of identity are discussed on five levels, namely the individual, subnational, national, supranational and global levels. Attention is given to the role of the media, and information and communication technologies in these struggles and the implications for policy-making within the media and communications sector. The far-reaching implications for Africa, and South Africa in particular, are also considered.
Theories on the information society and development : recent theoretical contributions and their relevance for the developing world : theory : research articleSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 48 –67 (2003)More Less
The rise and effects of information and communcation technologies (ICTs) form the starting point of a few interesting theoretical accounts on the information economy and society. Even some more critical authors proceed in their argumentation from economic and social change in relation to major changes in the area of ICTs. This recent literature is often confusing, as the role of ICTs is perceived as all pervasive. As such, authors do not always distinguish between evolutions in specific sectors, at the economic level or at the level of social institutions and structures. This article has a twofold goal. First, it provides a systematised discussion of recent theoretical contributions on the information society. Second, it analyses these contributions in the light of its accounts of, and relevance to, the developing world. It starts from the assumption that all too often no specific attention is paid to the developing world or that - in the case of more policy-orientated accounts - the theory on the information society is seen to be universal in character.
Author Gert NulensSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 68 –78 (2003)More Less
Recent theories about a global information society and the digital divide are rooted in older theories about mass media and development. A comparison between these theories shows that the main premises are still there: development is equated with economic growth, there is an enormous belief in the capacities of communication technologies to change a society, and the Western model is promoted as being universally applicable and the only unavoidable way forward. Thus the idea that closing the communication gap will also close the development divide is still alive. On the contrary, history shows that the communication gap and the digital divide are consequences of a more general development divide.
Discourse and reality in international information society policy : the dominant scenario and its application in the developing world : policy : research articleSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 79 –113 (2003)More Less
Since the early 1990s the concept of the information society has taken centre stage on the political agendas of several national governments in the North and South, as well as regional and international institutions, donor organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This article first sets out to analyse and describe both the content of, and the evolution in, this policy discourse. It attempts to assess the validity of this discourse in light of the current changes at the global level and in the light of the problems associated with the practical implementation of policy in a developmental context. By so doing, it questions the basic - and overly simplistic - assumptions of the dominant scenario.
The South African telecommunications environment : a brief assessment of regulatory change : policy : research articleAuthor Fuaad AliSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 114 –128 (2003)More Less
Communications play a critical role in transforming society. Governments as the custodians of communications therefore have a serious obligation to ensure that all the people of their country have access to basic telecommunications services. Access to basic communication services is a right because communications is an enabler of social interaction across time and geographic space, and a creator of economic development and prosperity for even the most dispersed populations. In South Africa, under apartheid, vast populations of people were excluded from this basic right of having access to communications, resulting in a serious backlog of basic communication services. One of the major objectives of the Afican National Congress (ANC) government when it came to power in 1994 was to ensure that communications were made available to all people even those in the most remote areas of South Africa. These objectives were constrained by a number of factors such as: telecommunications policy that favoured a monopolistic telecommunications environment. To re-engineer the South African telecommunications landscape, telecommunications policy has since 1994 evolved in a revolutionary way.
Towards an integrated information society policy in South Africa : an overview of political rhetoric and policy initiatives 1994-2000 : policy : research articleSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 129 –147 (2003)More Less
South Africa is considered one of the few developing countries that has fully embraced the concept of information society and has formulated and implemented policy inititives in order to change society accordingly. By 1995, the theme of the information society started to surface regularly in political discourse and policy documents. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and access to ICTs started to have prominence both in policy formulation and implementation. Although there was much talk about a Green Paper / White Paper process on the information society during 1996 and the beginning of 1997, such a policy process never materialised. To date, there is no document defining the government's view of the information society, no policy document outlining an integrated strategy to arrive there and no government department officially responsible for the coordination of policy initiatives. This article sets out to analyse the notion of the information society in South Africa and to analyse the broad evolution of South Africa's information society policy between 1994 and 2000.
The future of public service broadcasting in South Africa : the need to return to basic principles : policy : research articleSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 148 –181 (2003)More Less
In this article it is argued that should the South African public service broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), be expected to play a development and nation-building role in the South African society, as it is mandated to do, then policy makers should return to the basic principles underlying the philosophy of public service broadcasting. This needs to be done in a changed media environment characterised by privatisation, internationalisation and digitisation, all leading to increased competition and commercialisation. The argument is developed against the background of a discussion on (1) the reasons for the decline of public service broadcasting, (2) the ways in which public service broadcasters are responding, (3) an overview of the state of public service broadcasting in South Africa at the time of writing (April 2003), (4) a motivation for why South Africa needs a strong public service broadcaster and (5) what can be done to secure the future of public service broadcasting in South Africa. A return to the basic principles of public service broadcasting as the only way out, is suggested. This would require a complete revision of South African broadcasting policy.
Current film policy in South Africa : the establishment of the National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa and its role in the development of a post-apartheid film industry : policy : research articleAuthor Martin P. BothaSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 182 –198 (2003)More Less
The author aims to discuss the historical process which led to the establishment of the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), its strategies and vision for a post-apartheid film and video industry, and its potential role in policy formulation beyond the borders of South Africa. It is not an attempt to provide an insider's critique and/or analysis of current film policy, but aims to highlight the role of the NFVF in the policy-making process.
Using information and communication technologies (ICTs) for deep rural development in South Africa : research case studiesSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 199 –217 (2003)More Less
In response to the urban-rural digital divide in South Africa, various public and private sector information and communication technology (ICT)-related initiatives have been launched that have tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to counteract the disparities that characterise such a divide. The focus of this article is the description of a relatively more successful pilot study of this kind in the deep rural Tsilitwa community of the Eastern Cape. The project's aim was to develop and implement an innovative communications infrastructure that could run independently of the state power and telecommunications utility companies, to develop relevant capacity within the community, and to provided appropriate information content for ICT applications in support of sustainable development in the area. It was found that the project succeeded in achieving all of these aims, inter alia by establishing and equipping a number of multi-purpose community centres in the area, and by developing a sustainability model for each MPCC. In addition the learning of the broader initiative of which this project was a part, was gathered and developed into a draft framework for successful replication of similar interventions in rural areas.
Critical success factors in telecentre sustainability : a case study of six telecentres in the Limpopo Province : research case studySource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 218 –232 (2003)More Less
Access to Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) is regarded by the South African government as vital in improving the quality of life in rural areas. To this effect, the Universal Service Agency (USA), a statutory body established in terms of the Telecommunications Act, 1996, (Act 103 of 1996), is charged with the responsibility of spear-heading universal service by rolling out ICT services in rural areas. This article is based on the researchers' experiences and findings of the study commissioned by the USA and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The study investigated the operations and effectiveness of six telecentres in Limpopo (formerly known as the Northern Province), with a view to determining critical success factors which make telecentres sustainable. Critical success factors which consistently make a telecentre sustainable are identified and explored. These are inter alia, determination of the need for a telecentre in the ear-marked area, community support, continuous training for telecentre managers, sound management skills and a vigorous marketing strategy. This article intends to create a learning system for other telecentres elsewhere, to enhance their sustainability.
Contextualising ICT benefits in an educational environment : the case of the DOC-WILS initiative : research case studySource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 233 –249 (2003)More Less
The programme of the DoC-WILs is an initiative of the Department of Communication in collaboration with Telkom, established through the Human Resources Fund to enable human resources development at historically disadvantaged learning institutions. The Telecommunications, 1996 (Act 103 of 1996) establishes a Human Resources Fund to promote the provision of adequately skilled human resources at all levels of the telecommunications sector in numbers sufficient for the telecommunications needs of the country. The Department of Communication Web Internet Laboratories (DoC-WILs) emphasise skills development through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in areas such as network management, creating Websites, use of e-mail and the World Wide Web, multimedia applications and Intranet development. It is, however, not known under what contextual circumstances this kind of ICT-usage will lead to interactive learning benefits and how the DoC-WILs should go about achieving them. This article therefore attempts to shed some light on the conditions under which ICT usage could impact on educational outcomes desired by the DoC-WILs and on how these DoC-WILs could best go about taking appropriate actions to improve the possibility of achieving desired interactive learning benefits. It is argued that the ability of the DoC-WILs to achieve desired benefits successfully is crucially dependent on contextual conditions, policies or processes that apply to the DoC-WILs or their users. This is in line with the social shaping of technology approach that local circumstances surrounding the deployment of ICTs in different sectors of society are more important in shaping the consequence of ICTs than technological variables.
Internet applications in the political sphere : perceptions and views of political institutions in South Africa : research case studiesSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 250 –264 (2003)More Less
The study described in this article consisted of a survey that was conducted among a sample of South African political institutions and organisations, and that was aimed at investigating their views and perceptions with regard to the use of the Internet. The main research question posed by the current study was: What are the views of politically orientated institutions in South Africa on their use the Internet, and what are their perceptions on how the Internet could impact on democratic processes in the country? The aim of this exploratory research study was to obtain information that could cast light on the issue of how likely it was that the Internet would contribute to a deliberative democracy in South Africa. The survey revealed that the Internet was perceived to have a significant role to play with regard to political and democracy issues in South Africa. However, if certain problems (the lack of access, the lack of basic and computer literacy, and the lack of training) were not adequately addressed by means of an integrated government Internet strategy, the ability of the Internet to impact positively on democracy in South Africa would be very limited.
Creating a learning culture in rural schools via educational satellite television broadcasts : research case studiesSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 265 –279 (2003)More Less
Globalisation is increasingly placing greater pressure on economies of countries to become competitive and to develop higher levels of skills. In order to compete effectively on a global level, education and development must be based on a good foundation. Although formal education in South Africa is presently reaching the majority of children between the ages of seven and fifteen years, actual educational attainment is low. According to the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, South African pupils performed poorly in Mathematics and Physical Science compared to other participating countries. <br>This low attainment could be addressed by stimulating a learning culture through the medium of telematics. There have been a number of such nationwide initiatives aimed at transforming the country into a `knowledge-based society' through the use of ICTs. One such initiative is the University of Pretoria's `TeleTuks' educational satellite broadcasts to schools. <br>This article concentrates on the benefits of tele-education for schools participating in TeleTuks as perceived by teachers and by learners. This study was also done to determine to what extent schools are able to participate in the various ICT-related options available; and what problems participating schools are experiencing. It was found that satellite TV is effective in supplementing classroom education by fostering an interactive learning culture, although it has not been utilised and implemented widely enough.
Perceptions and attitudes with regard to teleworking among public sector officials in Pretoria : applying the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) : research case studiesSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 280 –296 (2003)More Less
The research described in this article can be described as an explorative study that focused on obtaining and analysing perceptions and attitudes of public sector officials in Pretoria regarding the possible introduction of teleworking in their working environment. The term teleworking was understood in the sense of using computers to work from home or working at a distance away from the office. The research question that was posed was: What perceptions and attitudes exist among public sector officials in Pretoria that could contribute to, or impede, the acceptance of teleworking in South African government departments? Specific attention was given to perceptions of possible benefits or other impacts of teleworking, indications of public sector officials' ability to use computers for teleworking purposes, attitudes toward computers and teleworking, and the behavioural intention to use teleworking in future. The questionnaire and results were structured along the lines of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) of Davis. It was found that there was firm support among the officials for public sector teleworking - especially in terms of those views and perceptions that served as indicators for relevant TAM constructs such as `perceived ease of use regarding teleworking', `perceived usefulness of teleworking', `attitude toward teleworking' and `intention to use teleworking'.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation's expansion into Africa : South African media imperialism? : research case studiesAuthor Musa NdlovuSource: Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research 29, pp 297 –311 (2003)More Less
This article examines the commercial advancements of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) into the African regional media markets. In this examination, the focus is mostly on the SABC's Africa-orientated channels, SABC Africa and Africa2Africa, as a case study. The article posits that the SABC's regional commercial expansion is paradoxical in the sense that it is both advantageous and disadvantageous at the same time. At the theoretical level, the article identifies some limitations to applying theoretical and analytical frameworks such as the dependency paradigm, media and cultural imperialism in explaining regional expansionism driven by Southern-based national media organisations.