Access To Media & ICT

The FXI is committed to advancing freedom of the media to ensure a diversity of media and promoting the right of all people to communicate. Media freedom is an essential tool in the advancement of open, accountable and transparent institutions. Media freedom is vital for the enhancement of the Constitutional right to freedom of expression and the protection of a sustainable democracy.

The FXI is committed to advancing freedom of the media to ensure a diversity of media and promoting the right of all people to communicate. Media freedom is an essential tool in the advancement of open, accountable and transparent institutions. Media freedom is vital for the enhancement of the Constitutional right to freedom of expression and the protection of a sustainable democracy.

The Media and ICT Programme increases pro-diversity and popular access to media, broadcasting and telecommunications policy in South Africa.  A critical component of this programme is dedicated to advocacy for enhanced public broadcasting, support for community media as well as new media in extending and expanding platforms for greater public free expression and engagement. This programme contributes to efforts dedicated to lobbying for relevant and progressive communication through legislative and policy development within South Africa and the region.

The Programme engages with public broadcasting and communications regulations and targets the public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).

Lobbying is conducted on media ownership and control regulations, particularly focusing on the trend in the media industry towards vertical and horizontal concentration. Lobbying takes place in relation to the viability and independence of the community radio section, especially in relation to the licensing process. This lobbying targets ICASA and the Media Development and Diversity Agency in the main.

The programme campaigns for implementation of affordable Universal Service in telecommunications, ensuring that this objective is not discarded due to financial or political considerations.

The provision of practical and well-informed policy research promotes and popularises community media and encourages the interaction with international movements promoting community ownership and control of media. Policy research builds the community media sector on a non-sectarian basis, and promotes the role of community media in the transformation of societies in Southern Africa, and promotes community ownership and control of media.

The programme lobbies around the establishment of a viable, diverse and independent community media sector. The programme lobbies for the establishment of a Media Development Agency and the implementation of a media diversity-friendly Competition Bill.

Various media rights such as editorial independence, the right of not to be forced and coerced to act as witnesses in trials involving their professional duties and the right of journalists not to disclose confidential sources of information are fought for.

The programme lobbies for strict separation of advertising and editorial functions and the Regulation of infomercials and programme sponsorships.

The programme lobbies around the protection and promotion of public broadcasting, communications regulations and the financial and institutional independence of ICASA.

The programme makes various submissions on communications regulations to ICASA.