Broadcasting and ICT convergence

Broadcasting and ICT convergence

Campaign for Broadcasting diversity and ICTs

 In this programme area, MISA-Zimbabwe seeks to promote a diverse and plural converged broadcasting and telecommunications sector.

Currently the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) regulate the sectors separately. The push for the convergence is driven by the technological advancement in both sectors and the apparent reality of their intersection as both licensed and prospective broadcasters in the country adopt complementary and/or alternative broadcasting methods.

Given the current criticism and opaqueness of the appointment and composition of both regulatory bodies; as well as the lack of transparency in their governance of the sectors, MISA Zimbabwe considers its push  for an independent regulatory board, as key to the realisation of the overall potential of both sectors in Zimbabwe.

Convergence of the sectors would go a long way in improving the efficiencies in the overall sector in as far as reach, access and diversity is concerned. It would also ensure effective operations of broadcasters as well as the enjoyment of the citizen’s constitutional rights to free expression and access to information in the digital era where they are not only receivers but producers of broadcast content

In the meantime MISA-Zimbabwe uses a two–pronged method to make its interventions separately in both sectors.

For the Broadcasting programming MISA-Zimbabwe’s interventions are as follows:

  • Continuous advocacy for the opening up of the airwaves to a three-tier broadcasting sector that includes an independent Public Service Broadcaster, Commercial and Community broadcasters
  • Fair and transparent licensing of players for the sector
  • Creation of sustainability models for the sector
  • Advocacy for the establishment of an independent complains mechanism for public broadcasters
  • Formulation and monitoring of the broadcasting policy framework and legislation

Key to the ICT programming are interventions made to the country’s current internet governance processes leading to the adoption of Zimbabwe’s ICT policy and the appointment of the Zimbabwe Internet Governance Forum (ZIGF). These include:

  • Consultative meetings with the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology and Courier Services and other relevant policymakers
  • Research on global trends, current national policy and legislation governing the sector
  • Education and training of citizens and the media on digital rights
  • Monitoring of the sectors for digital rights trends and violations