The impact of media commercialisation on programming : a study of Radio Uganda.

Lwanga, Margaret Jjuuko Nassuna. (2002) The impact of media commercialisation on programming : a study of Radio Uganda. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




The 1980s and 1990s saw two major changes in the political economy of the media and the world economy at large: technological advancement and transfer and privatisation. There were significant shifts in media industries: newspapers, broadcasting, cinema and telecommunications when governments begun re-regulating their air waves so as to permit private satellite transmission via both encryption and free-to-air, in addition to public service and private channels. In most societies where these changes have taken place, public service broadcasting has been threatened by the rapid rise of commercial institutions, resulting in stiff competition for audiences. This study set out to determine the extent to which commercialisation, in the era of liberalisation and commercialisation of media services in Uganda, has affected Radio Uganda’s programming. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of investigation, I have established that while Radio Uganda still maintains certain public service principles and values, programming policy has increasingly been changed by commercial considerations. This is shown by the recent rise of commercial programmes and a fall in education and developmental programmes. Limitations of finance and other resources have compromised the roles and character of public service radio programming. The majority of programmes currently on Radio Uganda are evidently geared to attract advertisers rather than serve the public interest. The study recommends, among other measures, that the licence fee be developed as a source of revenue for Radio Uganda. Secondly, government should inject more funding into public service broadcasting institutions to supplement other sources of income, before granting them autonomy. Thirdly, while advertising and sponsorship brings in a considerable amount of revenue, it should not take a central place that undermines the listener’s interest in radio programming. The Broadcasting Council should therefore map out solid policies that will systematically guide Radio Uganda in its programming in the new order.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Radio programs, Radio Uganda, Public radio, Uganda
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Journalism and Media Studies
ID Code:2276
Deposited By: Madireng Monyela
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 12:43
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:22
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