Pretoria – Stakeholders in media will on Thursday gather at a colloquium to discuss issues of transformation, accountability and diversity affecting the industry.
The 2016 Colloquium on Print Media Transformation will be a platform to focus on the entire value chain in the print media space — from ownership to printing, distribution, research and advertising.
The two-day colloquium is aimed at bringing together a broad range of stakeholders that will contribute to a meaningful debate on media transformation, accountability and diversity priorities in South Africa.
Various stakeholders ranging from non-governmental organisations, government departments, advocacy forums, media houses, academia, civil society and other key role players are expected to attend the event.
Communications Minister Faith Muthambi will host the conference in Freedom Park in Pretoria.
“Untransformed media is unable to comprehensively demonstrate the plurality of voices in our societies – diversity in content,” Minister Muthambi said.
The Department of Communications said government intends to enhance the information environment by promoting media diversity, so as to include the voices of those historically and currently excluded from the media environment.
The department said diversity matters because democracy functions better when citizens are well informed, knowledgeable and are able to participate in matters that affect their lives.
“Content diversity further prevents any one media owner having too much influence over public opinion and instead a plethora of viewpoints is encouraged which embraces a wide spectrum of society,” the department said.
The 2016 Colloquium on Print Media Transformation will take the form of panel discussions and commissions that will include stakeholders.
The interactions will inform a concept paper that will be part of a policy process related to the transformation and reform of traditional and new media in South Africa.
The Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Director General, Donald Liphoko, on Wednesday said the colloquium is an opportunity to further shape the media landscape because participants will be able to advise government on issues that should be interrogated to ensure effective change.
“We are expecting robust and lively debate as all stakeholders will have an opportunity to join in open discussions on how we can work together to bring about real transformation in this critical sector of our society,” said Liphoko.