The changing landscape of broadcasting in Sierra Leone : past, present and future
thesisposted on 15.12.2014, 10:40 by Ivan Ajibola Sylvanus Thomas
This thesis investigates the changing landscape of broadcasting in Sierra Leone from government monopoly to the institutionalisation of broadcast pluralism. It posits that political pluralism facilitates broadcast pluralism. The research places emphasis on community radio broadcasting because of its role in sensitising a mass illiterate society like Sierra Leone. It analyses the process of change through the development of broadcast regulatory policy framework, independent of government control. The thesis examines the role of politics and government in media development. The anchorage is on media and democracy: democratic governments encourage media pluralism while authoritarianism restricts it. Most emergent democracies in Africa are experiencing this media evolution as part of the democratisation process.;The thesis utilises Habermas's theory of the public sphere to discuss public participation in the sphere of broadcasting, media pluralism, change of broadcast regulatory policymaking framework, and the emergence of the grassroots sphere of broadcasting in Sierra Leone. The research uses the four theories of the press to analyse the independence of broadcasting from government control. The political economy approach elucidates the phenomenon of commercialisation and sustainability in Sierra Leone broadcasting. The data for analysis are policy documents and in-depth interviews, which will provide evidence of broadcast evolution.;This research succeeds in documenting the evolution of broadcasting in Sierra Leone. The outcome of this development is the proliferation of community and regional radio stations, which created the grassroots sphere of broadcasting in Sierra Leone. The use of local languages in broadcasting enhanced grassroots participation, education, and information in the society. The aftermath of the war, international interventions, political and media pluralism, and change in media regulatory framework facilitated this development. The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service (SLBS) limits the public sphere to government information but the state is working towards its political independence.