New website helps transition to digital broadcasting in West Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Apr 4 (APC)

African countries have committed to migrating to digital broadcasting by June 2015. It will be a costly process and it is not clear who will benefit — or where the resources needed to make the transition will come from. A new website provides independent information for policy-makers about making the transition and reports on digital migration in Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.

Arguably the migration is one of the most fundamental changes in African broadcasting for over a decade and raises wider questions about how the “public interest” is expressed in broadcasting and its relationship with interactive, converged media.

Only a minority of African countries have started the policy work needed to create the transition and most of the discussion is focused on technical questions.

A new website developed by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and Balancing Act is part of an initiative which aims to help policy-makers and others focus their efforts on how to lower the cost of digital migration and look at how a wider range of benefits can be reaped .

The website provides African policy-makers, regulators, broadcasters and civil society organisations with information on the benefits and challenges that come with the process and the policy issues that need to be addressed. It includes specific reports on digital migration in Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. It aims to help policy-makers and others make the best decisions.

The initiative has been supported by the Open Society Institute (OSI).

(END/2011)

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