The role of public broadcasters is at a risk of being compromised by the internet, mobile phones and social media networks.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) broadcasters gathering in Namibia for the Southern African Broadcasting Association’s Africa and Digitalisation Conference heard that some social media platforms have more users compared to public broadcaster audiences.
Public broadcasters find themselves between a rock and a hard place, losing viewers and listeners at alarming rates.
New technologies are stiff competition.
Public broadcasting representatives says sophisticated media consumer demands, the understanding of audiences and media markets are key to sustaining public broadcasters across Southern Africa.
In other parts of the continent, social media entrepreneurs are attracting more followers than local public broadcasters.
Other broadcasters complained that their international counterparts who operate in the continent are shrinking their market. The proposal is that broadcasters coming to the continent should be regulated.
“We will have to find resources wherever they are. That means you must be fearless. When they say we are going to train your people, it is on your terms,” says Former NBC Director General Albertus Aochamub.
Delegates will try and convince policy makers and regulators to come on board and help save regional public broadcasters.
– By Manelisi Dubase