Diversity in media content, especially that of news and information programmes is crucial. The media, as a primary source of news and information in our society does have a large role in influencing the political, social and cultural agenda’s of the country. A limited range of news and information necessarily limits the diversity of information available to the public who as voters and tax payers have the right to be informed in order to make decisions in their lives.
Since the IBA’s inception in 1994, the licensing of new community and private radio stations has been widely welcomed as an indicator of the greater diversity of information and entertainment available to listeners. In terms of their licence conditions all stations licensed by the IBA have had to provide regular news bulletins and information programmes as part of their line-up, and the expectation has been that this would result in a wider and more diverse range of news stories, sources and areas of reporting. By providing news and information, the IBA hoped to ensure that all radio stations served the public’s information needs. Thus the IBA, through the community licences it issued attempted to allow as diverse a range of radio stations as possible, with the aim that these would provide a varied and valuable source of information and entertainment to the South African public.
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