Posts Tagged ‘media freedom’

Media Freedom and Breaking the news

19/10/2018

The media in South Africa commemorates the 41st anniversary of the infamous “Black Wednesday” which happened on the 19 October 1977, The World and Weekend World newspapers and several organisations were banned.

We think this day is a good time to reflect on the state of journalism in the country in 2018, especially in light of the recent scandal that has rocked a Sunday newspaper.

We have come a long way to media freedom in this country. Being Africa’s oldest community radio station project, which at one stage faced the full wrath of the apartheid government, we feel it is our duty and responsibility to promote accurate and fair reporting.

Bush Radio does not have the resources to be a “breaking news” station, but it is our duty to be accurate and give our listeners an opportunity to make up their own minds. This however can only happen if we present all sides of any argument, through good research and having access to role-players like politicians on a local, provincial and national level – this is proving harder and harder as officials simply refuse to comment or respond to questions from our newsroom and producers.

We call on all role-players who have an interest in improving the lives of the people on the Cape Flats to be accessible, especially to community media who truly speak and represent the people of Cape Town. It is only by engaging on the hard questions that we can truly claim to be improving the lives of citizens – and being a platform where people and audience can engage with political and social leaders. Thereby learning, healing and growing this wonderful city.

As a place where many young journalists start in their careers, we call upon our audience to hold us accountable and engage with us around our reporting and broadcasts.

Background on Black Wednesday:

On this day in 1977 in South Africa, then Minister of Justice Jimmy Kruger, banned The World and Weekend World newspapers by stating that these publications were “publishing inflammatory material that threatened the nation’s security” and the paper’s editor Percy Qoboza and other journalists were arrested and jailed.

19 organisations were also banned and apartheid critics were detained.

The organisations banned were BPC, SASO, Black Community Programmes, Black Parents Association, Black Women’s Federation, Border Youth Organisation, Eastern Province Youth Organisation, Medupe Writers Association, Natal Youth Organisation, National Youth Organisation, SASM, Soweto Students Representative Council, Soweto Teachers Action Committee, Transvaal Youth Organisation, Union of Black Journalists, Western Cape Youth Organisation, Zimele Trust Fund, Association for the Educational and Cultural Advancement of African People of South Africa.

Banning orders were also served on Beyers Naude and journalist Donald Woods.

Related:

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Getting to grips with challenges of Community Radio @DeptDoc

10/05/2018
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Deputy Minister of Communications with Khusi and Tyler from the Morning Cruise

The Deputy Minister of Communications, Ms Pinky Kekana visited Bush Radio on Thursday (10 May 2018) as a lead up to the department’s budget vote in Parliament.

During her visit, the deputy minister said that she is visiting Africa’s oldest community radio station project to better understand the challenges facing the sector and the unique challenges facing each station.

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Intensive discussion with Bush Radio regarding the state of community media

After the visit to Bush Radio, Kekana addressed the National Community Radio Forum Western Cape Meeting where she said that the Sentech issue; where stations’ transmissions were cut due to arrears, was a wake-up call to the Department of Communication.

She said that the discussion on the challenges would be taken forward at the proposed Community Media Summit, and that the summit would be solution orientated.

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The Deputy Minister being shown the operational transmitter used in Bush Radio’s pirate transmissions pre-1994

The Deputy Minister also discussed the role of government to provide an enabling environment for the sustainability of community broadcasters by assisting in opening doors from corporates through advertising.

Related:

Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

UPDATE: Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

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Is the news important to you? #worldpressfreedomday #pressfreedom #WPFD18

03/05/2018

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The 3rd of May is World Press Freedom day.

We asked some of our listeners if news is important to them.

Join the conversation! Send us more comments on sms 32158 / whatsapp 0832973910 / Instagram / Twitter#worldpressfreedomday #pressfreedom

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UPDATE: Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

21/04/2018

The Minister of Communications, Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane has received a commitment from Sentech to reconnect all suspended stations and halt any suspensions while looking for solutions to assist the community radio sector. Mokonyane issued the statement after a meeting with Sentech, the National Community Radio Forum (NCRF), the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) on Friday, 20th April 2018.

Several stations had been suspended due to non-payment of Sentech transmission costs which lead Bush Radio to issue a statement on their behalf.

The Minister also committed to hosting a Community Radio Sector Summit to be held in May 2018, that will provide a platform to further explore the variety of challenges and opportunities that obtain within the sector.

“The community radio sector is a critical communication platform to ensure we provide our people with access to information in their communities as a means towards the creation of an informed citizenry. It is for this reason that we cannot allow the sector to collapse” said Minister Mokonyane.

Read: Sentech to reconnect community radio stations suspended for non-payment

Related: Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

Community Radio Under Attack From Sentech Demands

13/04/2018

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* Bush Radio is publishing the full press statement below issued by concerned community radio station managers in the interests of the community radio sector

13 April 2018

Sentech action gags community radio – A call to protect this valuable resource of community radio which provides media access to marginalised peoples.

More than 6 community radio stations across the country – including Hope FM, Forte FM and Karabo FM – are no longer broadcasting to their communities because their Sentech accounts are in arrears. Dozens of other stations are receiving threatening letters saying they face a “suspension of their services” if they do not pay up immediately.

“We asked to make a payment arrangement with Sentech, but the company’s expectations for a payment plan were unrealistic,” Duncan Sinthumule, Station Manager from Karabo FM in Free State says.

Sentech then declined the payment plan offered by the Karabo FM and wanted the station to pay R116,458.00 “immediately” with monthly payments of R52,152.90 for 18 months until the debt is settled.

”We cannot even afford to pay R15,000.00 per month, how will we be able to stick to their payment plan?” Sinthumule said.

As non-profit entities, community radio stations are expected to raise their own funds through advertising, sponsorship and fundraising.

The Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), a SOE created with the mandate to amongst others “promote media development and diversity by providing support primary to community and small commercial media projects” only receives a small budget from the Department of Communications (DOC), and cannot provide support to over 200 community radio stations in South Africa.

Radio stations have called for a meeting with Minister of Communications Ms Nomvula Mokonyane to discuss the matter, with an expected meeting in the week of April 16.

Our demands follow…

We demand:

  • A moratorium on suspension of services by Sentech, and the switching-on of those stations taken off air
  • Debt write-off or DOC to release funds for Sentech debt
  • Restructuring of Sentech pricing for community radio stations
  • An annual grant to community radio stations

These demands are not unreasonable. As community radio stations, we operate under slow-growing economic climate that makes income via advertising very difficult.

Unlike commercial radio stations, we spend our broadcast hours promoting democracy, nationalism, social cohesion, cultural practices, local indigenous languages and local music. We educate, inform and entertain our communities we serve, and do this – in most instances – without any support from the government.

Taking community radio stations off air is an attack on media pluralism, negating the gains made in the media under the democratic government over the past 22 years. It will take us another 20 years to recover from this damage caused by Sentech.

For interviews or more information, contact:

  • Hope FM – Ntaps Moteka – 0791667566
  • Karabo FM – Duncan Sinthumule – 0735792840
  • Forte FM – Siya – 0732515487
  • The Rock FM – Kenny Moholobela – 0734861627
  • Eden FM – Morne Pietersen – 082 471 6253
  • LAFM – Ignatius Mnyamana – 0790679635

Issued by: Bush Radio on behalf of the affected community radio stations

This is the sound of NO media freedom

18/10/2017

19 October marks the 40th anniversary in South Africa of the infamous “Black Wednesday”.

On this day in 1977 in South Africa, then-minister of justice Jimmy Kruger banned The World and Weekend World. He justified the banning by stating that these publications were “publishing inflammatory material that threatened the nation’s security” and the paper’s editor Percy Qoboza and other journalists were arrested and jailed.

19 organisations were also banned and apartheid critics were detained.

Media Freedom1

Among the organisations banned were BPC, SASO, Black Community Programmes, Black Parents Association, Black Women’s Federation, Border Youth Organisation, Eastern Province Youth Organisation, Medupe Writers Association, Natal Youth Organisation, National Youth Organisation, SASM, Soweto Students Representative Council, Soweto Teachers Action Committee, Transvaal Youth Organisation, Union of Black Journalists, Western Cape Youth Organisation, Zimele Trust Fund, Association for the Educational and Cultural Advancement of African People of South Africa.

Banning orders were also served on Beyers Naude and journalist Donald Woods.

We have released the video and poster above in support of media freedom. Share and show your support.

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Support World Press Freedom Day 2017 #pressfreedom #WPFD2017

02/05/2017

“A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favour. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens.” – Nelson Mandela on freedom of expression, at the International Press Institute congress (14 February 1994)

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Where were you 18 years ago? Check out these promos

02/08/2013

On Friday the 9th of August (National Women’s Day) 2013, Bush Radio, Africa’s oldest volunteer driven community radio station celebrates 18 (legal) years on-air.

We will be having a special programme on the day from 2 – 4pm with many of the “old” Bushies. (see Calling all “old” Bushies)

Nigel Vermaas (host of Connected 2 Jazz) produced three promos (audio) for the programme. We thought we would share them here too. The promos feature Bassie Montewa the current host of Backchat as well as Dr Jeanne du Toit, Brenda Leonard and Sue Valentine and Victor J.



 

strap 9 aug 2013Related:

Calling all “old” Bushies

This August: Party like it’s your birthday

 

 

Calling all “old” Bushies

25/07/2013

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On the 9th August 2013, National Women’s Day, Bush Radio 89.5FM will be celebrating its 18th on-air birthday.

If you were a on-air volunteer, trainee or producer between 1995 and 2013 we would like to invite you to join Bassie Montewa on Backchat from 2 to 4pm on Friday the 9th August 2013 to share your experiences with listeners.

We want to find out how it was “back in the day”, how the experience changed you, affected your career choices and what you are up to now?

If you are able to join Bassie (in-studio or on the telephone) please fill in the form below or contact Isherene Siebritz on 021 448 5450 / marketing@bushradio.co.za to book your time back on air.

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From pirate to pioneer (Bush Radio’s illegal broadcast 20 years later)

25/04/2013

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two appear in court over community radio

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Bush Radio‘s illegal broadcast (25 April 1993) which forced the issue of community broadcasting onto the legislative agenda in South Africa and paved the way for the airwaves to be opened and the development of a vibrant community radio sector.

Within days of the broadcast, authorities (police, members of the security branch and post office officials) seized the station’s equipment and arrested two staff members. Following intense local and international lobbying efforts, however, the case was dismissed and Bush Radio was granted a broadcast license on 1 August 1995.

let the people speak

Related:

Read more about Bush Radio – CLICK HERE

Open letter on Media Freedom & Freedom of Expression

Cops delete Bush Radio journo’s photos

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