Botswana: broadcasting policy launched

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Aug 22 12:59:31 UTC 2006

Bots broadcasting policy launched
Sunday, 20 August @ 00:00:00

The proposed Broadcasting Policy has been developed with the aim of
achieving a diverse broadcasting system, which serves the needs of the
public's diverse opinions, beliefs and interests, writes Lekopanye
Mooketsi in Mmegi. The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology,
Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said this when she presented the draft Botswana
Broadcasting Policy to Parliament this week.  Moitoi said the goals of the
policy would be achieved by keeping a three-tier broadcasting system, that
is public, private and community. She said in particular, a Public
Broadcasting Service should be a forum that reflects issues of the
communities and should be accessible to most of the population.Moitoi
noted that the Public Broadcaster should set the standard for broadcasting
in the nation and most importantly, be funded in a reliable way, which
protects it against interferences.

She said the Private Broadcasting Services should offer news and current
affairs programmes, which must be comprehensive, unbiased and independent.
"It shall be necessary to ensure that available frequencies for private
broadcasting services be awarded through a competitive process and
decision on applications be made through transparent process and according
to clear criteria." She indicated that the draft policy also introduces
Community Broadcasting Services. "We define a community as geographically
founded or as a community of interest. Community broadcasters will be
accountable to the community they serve through organisational structures,
which ensure control by the community."

She said Community Broadcasting Services should offer community driven
programmes, with active participation of the community in their
initiation. She added that they should be specifically sensitive to the
language, traditions, beliefs and culture of their communities and the
broader national in terests.

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