Toward a measurement tool for the monitoring of media diversity and pluralism in South Africa: A public-centred approach

Jane Duncan, Julie Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article responds to recent debates within South African media politics regarding the diversity and transformation of the print sector in the country, by suggesting a necessary refocus of previously used methods of measuring media diversity and proposing a more audience-centred approach. This audience-centred method is discussed with regard to meeting the demands of the normative understanding of media diversity, where the media are viewed as central to an individual's formulation of opinions and ideas, thus rendering the media - and particularly the news media - vital in fostering an enabled and informed citizenry. The argument proposes a bottom-up instead of a top-down methodology for measuring media diversity, by placing the primary focus on the public as the starting point, rather than the end point of the analysis, and validating this position through the normative view of the media's role in assisting citizens to formulate personal views. The article concludes by listing four key areas in which current debates on media diversity in South Africa should be realigned and refocused, including at a parliamentary level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-500
Number of pages18
JournalCommunicatio
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • audience study
  • media diversity
  • media diversity measurement tool
  • media policy
  • media transformation
  • normative
  • public-centred approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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