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[Commlist] cfp: "Call for Chapters: 50 Years of Television in South Africa"

Tue Jan 16 10:01:22 GMT 2024

Call for Chapters: 50 Years of Television in South Africa

Edited by Associate Prof. Sisanda Nkoala & Prof Gilbert Motsaathebe
Proposed Publisher:  Palgrave Macmillan

The year 2026 will mark 50 years since television was first introduced in South Africa, a milestone that comes after a uniquely complex and delayed journey for this influential medium. On January 5, 1976, the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) was finally allowed to launch a television service after years of concerns by the apartheid regime about the potential impact of television. The then government’s concerns were allayed by the Meyer Commission which was appointed to investigate the feasibility of a television in the country. Thus, when television was finally introduced, it was a major event for South Africans. Now, half a century later, it is necessary to reflect on how the medium has developed and shaped society in this context.

Thus, this edited volume, 50 Years of Television in South Africa, seeks to explore the evolution, impact, and future of television in South Africa. We invite scholars, media practitioners, and researchers to contribute chapters that deliberate on the multifaceted story of South African television, engaging with, but not limited to, the following potential themes:

1. Origins and Early Development:
The political and social context surrounding the introduction of television in 1976. The role of the SABC and other broadcasters in shaping early programming and audience engagement. The struggle for representational diversity and challenges of censorship in the apartheid era. Technological advancements and their impact on television production and consumption.

2. Programming and Content Shifts:
The evolution of television genres and formats through the years, from early news and current affairs to the emergence of diverse local entertainment and reality shows. The changing portrayal of race, gender, and class in South African television programming, reflecting societal shifts and ongoing struggles for equality. The influence of international programming and the development of a distinct local content identity. The rise of alternative formats and platforms, including satellite channels, pay-per-view options, and the recent explosion of streaming services.

3. Audiences and Engagement:
The changing demographics of television viewers and their evolving patterns of media consumption across channels and platforms. The impact of television on social and cultural practices, family dynamics, and leisure activities in a rapidly transforming society. The role of television in shaping public opinion, political discourse, and social movements, both historically and in the contemporary digital age. The emergence of participatory cultures and audience-driven content creation in the evolving South African television landscape.

4. Television and languages in a multicultural and multilingual context
Introduction of television services for different language groups
Programmes aimed at different language groups
Television presenters and their contribution to promoting languages

5. The emergence of other role-players in the television industry
The introduction of different television station
How the new television stations challenged the domination of the much older and conservative SABC
Television services from the homelands

5.  Television and Digitality
How television in South Africa embraced digitality
Migration of television broadcasting from analogue to digital technologies
Challenges and opportunities of digital migration
Specific Challenges for Public Broadcasting Services

6. Community Televisions
The introduction of community television channels
Religious channels

7. Industry and Economics:
The changing landscape of the television industry: from state-owned monopolies to private broadcasters and streaming services. The role of advertising and sponsorship in shaping television content and revenue models. The impact of digital technologies on production, distribution, and consumption models.
The regulatory environment and its influence on the television industry.

8.. Future of Television in South Africa:
The challenges and opportunities facing South African television in a world dominated by digital technologies and global media giants. The potential of television to contribute to social change, education, and democratic engagement in a diverse and complex society. The future of local content creation and the sustainability of the South African television industry in the face of evolving audience preferences and market forces.

Submission Guidelines:
We welcome chapters of 6,000-8,000 words, including references.
All chapters should be original, unpublished work, and adhere to academic formatting guidelines. Please submit chapter proposals including a 300-word abstract, a brief author biography, and relevant contact information. Proposals should be sent to (sisandankoala /at/ <mailto:(sisandankoala /at/> by 14 February 2024.

We encourage submissions from a diverse range of voices and perspectives. We look forward to receiving your contributions and contributing to a comprehensive and insightful exploration of 50 years of television in South Africa.

NB: This call for chapters is a starting point, and we are open to additional themes and propositions that contribute to the overall scope of the book. We encourage you to be creative and innovative in your approaches.

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