This is a major new twelve-country survey of public service broadcasting in Africa jointly hosted by AfriMAP and the Open Society Institute’s Network Media Program (NMP). The survey examines issues of impartiality, independence and quality in public service broadcasting (including not only the public service broadcaster but relevant private media), with a view to producing recommendations for better regulation of the sector, especially in the context of the expected digitalization of broadcast media.
A research guide for the survey was finalized at meetings in Johannesburg in September 2007 and Accra in November, in consultation with AfriMAP/NMP staff, foundations, the advisory committee, editors and country researchers. The research guide covers a wide range of issues, including the broadcasting landscape, broadcasting regulation, public broadcasting laws, organisation/funding of state/public broadcasters, programme formats with special emphasis on public interest programming in all sectors of broadcasting, programme and news & current affairs analysis, audience research, impact of digitalisation, broadcasting reform efforts. Benchmarks used for the research are African documents such as the African Charter on Broadcasting, the Declaration on Freedom of Expression in Africa as adopted by the AU's Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.