Children’s television in Botswana: policy, regulations, and diversity in a developing country

Ramojela, K 2016, Children’s television in Botswana: policy, regulations, and diversity in a developing country, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Media and Communication, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Children’s television in Botswana: policy, regulations, and diversity in a developing country
Author(s) Ramojela, K
Year 2016
Abstract Children’s Television in Botswana: Policy, Regulations and Diversity in a Developing Country explores the state of children’s television in Botswana. While children’s television has been researched extensively in developed countries the current literature shows that there is a dearth of studies on children’s television in Africa. This is particularly the case for Botswana.

In 2000 the government of Botswana established a government-funded public television station with the view of disseminating information and preserving Botswana’s culture. Following this some local scholars (Mosanako 2014, Mosime 2007, Mmusi 2002) investigated its potency and forms of operations as a station but not necessarily in relation to children’s television. This study investigates children’s television policy and regulation, and explores pro-social children’s television local programs aired on BTV (Botswana Television). The study also explores eBotswana television and Botswana Educational television (BETV) which provides children’s television curriculum programs to Botswana secondary school students.

In order to appreciate and understand children’s television in the Botswana context, as well as describing the history of Botswana television stations and some selected programs, this study considers best practice in children’s television as found in economically developed countries -- Australia, the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom (UK). Policies and practices in South Africa are surveyed because it is a neighbouring country with a more developed television industry. Through such comparisons the study describes what might be possible future directions for the much-needed development of children’s television in Botswana.

The study investigated children’s television in Botswana through a qualitative research approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Botswana and South African media policy-makers and practitioners. This was done so that the researcher could extensively understand the children’s television landscape in Botswana and South Africa. The interviews were conducted with various stakeholders such as station managers, content programmers, children’s television content producers, advocacy groups, government officials, non-governmental officials, media authority representatives and teachers. Documentary analysis was conducted to extract official data from different television stations and organizations. Documents from countries with the best practice in children’s television were analyzed. BTV and eBotswana television schedules were explored to determine the number of children television programs provided by each station.

Findings from this study illustrated that BTV had no specific children’s television policy and regulation to conduct its affairs and that the station used international convention policies and guidelines in its operations. Children’s television programs were produced based on what the producers think the child audience would like to see. BTV produced only two children’s local programs and eBotswana only aired children’s international programs. In addition, the scheduling of children’s programs were ill-timed for their target audience.

While BTV is still new, does not have much programming, and its little programming is dominated by international programs, considering that Botswana attained independence over 50 years ago and television was introduced 15 years ago, the country is due for TV programming that also includes a diversity of children programs. This study argues the need for policy and regulatory framework that pertains to influencing the broadcast of children’s content on BTV. Concerned stakeholders such as children themselves, parents, media, non-governmental officials and government officials who deal with children’s issues should be involved in the formulation of these policies.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Media and Communication
Subjects Media Studies
Communication Studies
Film and Television
Keyword(s) Children's television in Botswana
Children's television policies and regulations
Children's television programs in Botswana
Children's television in developing countries
Television development in Botswana
Botswana Television
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Created: Mon, 24 Apr 2017, 14:26:26 EST by Adam Rivett
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