South Africa: Conference Puts Spotlight On Sustainable Community Media

Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu, will on Thursday officially open and deliver the keynote address at the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) Community Media Sustainability Consultative Conference.

Held virtually under the theme, 'Building a resilient and future-forward community media sector', the consultative conference is a pivotal milestone towards the development of a sustainability model for community media in South Africa.

It also comes as a result of findings and action plans from various engagements between government, the sector and relevant role players on challenges facing community and small commercial media in South Africa.

The two-day conference is expected to draw from both the local and international body of knowledge on sector sustainability strategies, and is expected to conclude with Terms of Reference for a research study that will profoundly seek to unearth the root causes for the lack of sustainability in the sector, build on its strengths and develop a responsive sustainability model.

It is envisaged that the sustainability model will categorise community media into its ability to self-sustain, partially self-sustain or not be self-sustainable at all.

Additionally, it should identify interventions such as funding, training, innovation and technology, community and government support, amongst others, to ensure the survival of the sector.

The model will be built in a way that it is embedded in and supports the District Development Model. It will, moreover, inform the MDDA's future funding and support processes.

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