This timely book argues that the Global North’s research methods and traditional assumptions are not valid to the media landscapes and audiences of the Global South. With South Africa as the focus, the authors offer a new understanding of media diversity along an audience-centred approach.

Disappointingly, research shows that most South African citizens (most of whom are economically marginalised) are found to experience extremely low levels of media content diversity in their personal media diets. The contributing factors are inter-related and complex, but include the inequitable distribution of media content, a lack of African language media, and most especially, the cost of media access which is unaffordable to many. In this book, the authors examine what went wrong with post-apartheid attempts to democratise the media landscape, and why the experienced levels of media diversity by the majority South African audience remain so woefully low. While media diversity is usually measured by policymakers, sector stakeholders or by market-related imperatives, this book foregrounds the perspective of the media consumer. In doing so, traditional media measuring is inverted – leading to a more in-depth understanding of how ordinary people in the Global South receive media content, how much, and why.

The authors offer a holistic analysis of the ineffectuality of key media policymaking processes, projects and institutions – while also suggesting how these could be transformed to create a more diverse and broadly accessible media landscape.

part Part A|41 pages

New ways of looking at media diversity

chapter Chapter One|20 pages

Conceptualising a new understanding of media diversity

ByJulie Reid

part Part B|49 pages

Reaching and researching the audience

chapter Chapter Three|13 pages

The lay of the media landscape: media ownership concentration in South Africa

ByPetrus Potgieter, George Angelopulo

chapter Chapter Four|17 pages

But how much news do we really get?

Actual access to the news media among different audiences in South Africa
ByGeorge Angelopulo, Petrus Potgieter

part Part C|107 pages

Media policy and sectors in South Africa: what about diversity?

chapter Chapter Seven|11 pages

Lofty ideals but a failing mission. The Media Development and Diversity Agency

ByTanja Bosch

chapter Chapter Ten|17 pages

Community newspaper voices: local and black, but the glaring gap is women

ByGlenda Daniels

chapter Chapter Eleven|22 pages

Reflections on the African digital ecosystem

ByViola C. Milton