2 June 2011
The Media Development and Diversity Agency has supported more than 343 media projects across South Africa since its inception in 2004, and now plans to support a community radio station, magazine and newspaper in each district municipality, and a community television station in each province.
An independent statutory body funded by the government and the commercial media, the MDDA was set up under the MDDA Act of 2002 to promote media diversity and development by providing support to community and small commercial media.
The agency disburses grants to community, small commercial and media research projects in four cycles each year.
Briefing parliamentarians in Cape Town on Wednesday, Deputy Minister in the Presidency Dina Pule said the agency had supported more than 343 media projects across the country at a cost of R128.8-million since 2004.
“Since inception, the agency has trained over 1 300 people, provided 143 bursaries to different radio and print media, and created approximately 200 job opportunities beneficiary projects, which empowered more people with skills that enabled them to participate in the broader media and broadcasting industry,” Pule said.
Developing community media
Looking ahead, the agency plans to support at least one community radio station, one community magazine and one commercial newspaper at each district municipality and at least one community television station in each province.
The agency will also look at media accountability mechanisms that complement and strengthen self-regulation, enhance media credibility and accountability, discourage irresponsible reporting, promote high standards in the media and encourage professionalism.