Broadcasting and ICT convergence

Broadcasting and ICT convergence

Under its Campaign for broadcasting diversity and ICTs, MISA Zimbabwe seeks to promote a diverse, pluralistic and 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 convergence is driven by technological advancements in both sectors and the reality of their future intersection as broadcasters in Zimbabwe 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 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 two sectors will go a long way in improving efficiency in terms of reach, access and diversity. It will not only ensure the effective operations of broadcasters. It will also allow citizens to enjoy their constitutional rights to free expression and access to information as receivers and producers of broadcast content.

MISA Zimbabwe seeks to achieve this though:

  • Continuous advocacy for the opening up of the airwaves towards a three-tier broadcasting sector that includes an independent public service broadcaster, as well as commercial and community broadcasters
  • Transformation of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation into a truly public service broadcaster with editorial independence that is accountable to the citizenry through parliament
  • 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.

ICT programming

MISA Zimbabwe’s ICT programming is informed by current internet governance processes leading to the adoption of Zimbabwe’s ICT policy and the appointment of the Zimbabwe Internet Governance Forum.

These include:

  • Consultative meetings with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies and Courier Services and other relevant policy makers
  • 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.