Public and Commercial Broadcasting

Topics: Broadcasting, Public broadcasting, Commercial broadcasting Pages: 2 (813 words) Published: October 3, 2008
Public broadcasting is defined as broadcasting that is controlled and financed by the public for the public. There is no government or commercial institutions directing and influencing programming content so as to influence the public. It is therefore free from political influence and commercial pressure. (UNESCO) A “Public Broadcaster Services” (“PBS”) has the role of broadcasting in the interest of the public. The SABC in South Africa owns fifteen PBS radio stations of which eleven of its PBS radio stations broadcast in each of the eleven official languages. Along with serving the interest of the public by educating and informing them, the SABC is also associated with the task of national unity and reconciliation. Therefore by the SABC having a PBS station in each of South Africa’s languages they are catering for the countries cultural and language diversity. (Banda, 2008) To further discuss funding, audience and programming in the PBS arena, the example of Lotus FM (an SABC owned PBS radio station) shall be used. With regard to the funding requirements of Lotus FM the SABC makes use of both advertising and licensing revenue (Alexander, 2008). From this it is eminent that programming is not controlled or coerced by advertisers as advertising revenue is not the only form of revenue. As a public broadcaster, Lotus FM has to adhere to certain strict requirements, as set out in its license conditions by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa. These requirements include inter alia complying with the minimum amount of airtime that the station needs to dedicate on a daily basis to educational segments. With regard to programming content Lotus FM caters for the progressive Indian community with Indian music, news, entertainment, current affairs, education and interviews with people who play an important role in the South African Indian society. The station’s audience range between 25-49 with the core between 25-35. Lotus FM broadcasts across the...

Bibliography: 1.) Alexander, M. (2008). South Africa’s Radio Station’s. Retrieved July 23, 2008 from the World Wide Web:
2.) Banda, F. (2008). Key Issues in Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) in Sub Saharan Africa. Retrieved July 23, 2008 from the World Wide Web:
3.) SABC (2007) SABC Radio Stations. Retrieved July 23, 2008 from the World Wide Web:
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