1st Edition

Media Power and Hegemony in South Africa The Myth of Independence

By Blessed Ngwenya Copyright 2021
    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    166 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book critically explores how meanings of ‘independence’ are constructed and reconfigured by public service broadcasters in the global south, with a particular focus on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

    Blessed Ngwenya questions the institutional, political economy and world systems paradigms born out of coloniality which continue to influence broadcasting and media in the global south, and instead presents a radical local understanding of freedom in the present day. The author draws on detailed empirical interviews with members of staff from across the SABC, including board members, senior management, and journalists, offering an intimate insight into how the participants themselves perceive, understand, and deal with the issues and problems they face in relation to independence. Framed by a rich analysis of the historical context, this book provides readers with the theoretical and empirical toolkit needed to place the everyday experiences and needs of their subjects first, and to ultimately arrive at an accurate understanding of independence in its several senses.

    Contributing to growing global debates on the decolonisation of knowledge, this book is critical reading for advanced scholars and researchers of African media, culture, communication and epistemic freedom.

    1. Introduction: Thought, Word and Deed

    2. Foundations of Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) in South Africa

    3. The Early Transition of the SABC From State Broadcaster to Post-Apartheid Broadcaster: Global Designs Local Histories

    4. Citizen and Consumer

    5. The ANC and the Hazards of Neo-Liberal Midwifery: Implications for SABC Independence

    6. Controversies and Challenges to Contemporary Broadcasting: A Possible Epistemic Dis-Obedience?

    7. SABC ‘Independence’ Conceptions and Dilemmas of Universality: Whither SABC?



    Blessed Ngwenya is Senior Lecturer in Communication Science at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Ngwenya holds a DPhil in Socio-Legal Studies from the University of Oxford. His research examines power, identity, and knowledge from a decolonial perspective.