Book on Media and Democracy in Southern Africa

Here is an open access link to an edited collection of essays on Southern African media issues – it’s not a new book, it was published in 2001, but is now out of print, so one of the editors, Keyan Tomaselli, has made it available on the website of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society at the University of KwaZula-Natal.

Even though it’s now a decade old, and politics and media have both moved on somewhat, it’s still a valuable resource, not least as a model of a certain sort of scholarly experiment. It’s notable as a product of a genuine intellectual dialogue of scholars from across the Southern African region, not just SA, and indeed, of South-South dialogue, involving as it did scholars from Jamaica too – this is the sort of dialogue pioneered by the cultural studies centre in Durban going back to the 1980s at least.

It is the product of a workshop held in 2000 in Durban, at what I now remember as having been an interesting turning point in regional history: the Hansie Cronje affair had just broken, leaving South African public culture reeling it seemed, and the violent repression of opposition in Zimbabwe also kicked-off at just about this time – a number of those attending the workshop flew in from, or were deeply engaged with politics in Zimbabwe.

My piece in the collection is about broadcasting and telecoms policy in South Africa and the broader region, and issues of democracy and scale more abstractly. Those were the days.

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