COM 2005 Volume 10

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  • ItemOpen Access
    The dynamism of political transformation in South Africa - a general assessment
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Duvenhage, Andre
    Political transformation, to rectify the injustices of Apartheid, has been elevated to the only acceptable norm for change in South Africa and critique against transformation is seen as racism, disloyalty to the state, treason etc. Since 1994 political transformation became the official framework for political management and political change in South Africa. Despite many good things that happened in South Africa after 1994 (social upliftment, economic growth, relative political stability and international recognition), academics and politicians have voiced their concern about the "unexpected" dynamics related to the implementation of political transformation. The dynamism of political transformation as political phenomenon in South Africa can be distinguished from revolution, transition and development through criteria such as its nature, its rapidity, its direction and its extent. This article deals with the theoretical and empirical manifestation of transformation efforts to rid the South African society of its unacceptable political past. The dynamism of central planning (social and political engineering) to effect the desired transformation, the managing of the "national project" and the ensuing conflict, are assessed. This article shows the problems of political transformation, especially within the context of unsuccessful attempts in terms of the implementation of the national project.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rural women: communication, empowerment and the facilitating role of ICT
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) De Wet, Gideon; Jonker, Helanie
    Many scholars describe empowerment as an ongoing, fluctuating, lifelong transformation and liberation process involving positive changes in the individual's psychological well-being (self-esteem and self-concept), the development of meaningful social relationships (friendship, and informal and formal support) and the pursuit of positive experiences. This article argues that Information Communication Technology (!CT) can play a facilitating development communication role in the processes of empowerment and thus development of rural African women. The study was conducted at the International Computer Driver's Licence (ICDL) Centre in rural South Africa with 30 conveniently selected women with a grade 12 educational level. The aim was to establish the following: How do women become empowered through communication facilitation processes as experienced at the ICDL Centre in order to contribute towards their own development? The most evident empowerment aspects were: • personal fulfilment, improvement of quality of life, more self-confidence, and could get a better job and higher status in the community; • close relationships within family and a higher level of emotional support were crucial; and • role models are predominantly female, especially the maternal figure who places a very high value on education. In all of these findings communication was experienc~{i as central to the process of empowerment.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Transforming Cor, die ander van Gogh from radio play to stage production for multicultural audiences
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Krige, M.
    When adapting a radio play to be performed on a stage, the limitations and capabilities of both mediums have to be considered and dealt with in the adaptation process. Such an adaptation and transformation was attempted with Cor, die ander van Gogh, initially written by Naomi Morgan for radio broadcast. It relates the life of Cor, youngest brother to Vincent and Theo van Gogh. Cor emigrated to South Africa in the late 1880s and fought on the side of the Boers in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 -1902. The stage performance had to-be accessible also to a non-Afrikaans speaking audience which necessitated careful planning to ensure that the communication is unambiguous and as comprehensible as possible. There are three partners to this process: the text, the actor and the audience themselves. Regarding the text, care should be taken to ensure a tight dramatic structure and the various functions of the dialogue should be identified to ensure a clear message. Contextualisation of the character(s) and events is important to give the necessary details for the audience to understand the dramatic progression. The audience then has to interpret cognitively what has been offered to them on a sensual level and appreciative feedback would indicate the success of the whole process.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Stakeholder engagement in the creation and maintenance of corporate citizenship
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) De Jongh, Derick; Rensburg, Ronel; De Wet, J. M.
    Recently numerous references have been made to corporate social responsibility, corporate or brand citizenship, stakeholder engagement, partnerships, sustainable development and effective corporate governance. One of the fundamental issues in corporate citizenship is the ability of an organisation to cope with its various stakeholders and enter into partnerships with these stakeholders for improved business ventures. The question, however, remains how can organisations take a structured approach to engage and consult with stakeholders. Organisations need to know who their stakeholders are, and should be accountable to these stakeholders. Stakeholder accountability requires that organisations must ensure that governance systems foster an understanding of business relationships which will allow balanced business judgments to be made. Stakeholder "voices" need to be heard at the highest level of organisational governance. This article attempts to define and describe the concept of stakeholders, illustrates how partnerships can be built between stakeholders and organisations, and provides a South African perspective on public/private partnerships in a rapidly changing business landscape. It underpins the importance of creating business networks, but emphasises that maintenance of relationships with stakeholders are pivotal for organisations in becoming good corporate citizens.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Community radio's impact on community building: case studies from Kwazulu-Natal
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth
    The major objectives of community radio are to "encourage widespread community participation in broadcasting, provide an opportunity for horizontal communication between individuals and groups in the community, stimulate more free and open debate of community issues and reflect the cultural and social diversity of the community" (White 1990: 4). The article focuses on six community radio stations in the greater Durban and Pietermaritzburg metropolitan regions of KwaZulu-Natal: Highway Radio; Radio Khwezi; Durban Youth Radio; Radio Maritzburg; Radio Al-Ansaar and Radio Phoenix. The ultimate purpose of the project is to explore the radio stations' relation to, and representation of, the audiences they define as their communities. The article traces the history of community radio in South Africa by assessing each of the radio stations in the province. The schema developed here can be further developed, modified and applied to other radio stations elsewhere in the country in later research. The project tests the thesis that community radios which have stable and representative governing bodies; adopt their budgets on time; spend their money as planned; and fulfil the requirements set down by the IBA, are for the most part the same radio stations with strong community ties, effective "development programming", sustainable funding situations and high listenership levels.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Gedragsvorme van dosente wat 'n impak op onderrigkommunikasie uitoefen
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Terblanche, F. H.; Terblanche, L.
    The primary purpose of this literature review was to determine which aspects of communicative behaviour of lecturers assisted in promoting learning within a traditional teaching context. From a variety of research results it appears that there is a positive relationship between lecturers' perceived credibility and learners' motivation to learn as well as their cognitive, affective and behavioural learning. It has been shown that although the classic third dimension of credibility, namely goodwill or intention towards the receiver, has become one with the dimension of character over the years, it still fulfils a role rich in meaning in instructional communication. In this regard there is a variety of mutually related forms of behaviour evident in lecturers from which lecturers can make a choice in order to improve their credibility. These forms of behaviour may be divided into three broad categories, namely affinity-seeking, immediacy and caring, although some of the subdivisions of these may well overlap. It is recommended that lecturers be made aware, through some or other orientation programme, of the dimensions of credibility and the role this plays in effective instructional communication. If attention is not paid to this, the anxiety regarding instructional communication which currently exists could degenerate into a nightmare.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Meeting on the "narrow ridge" in intercultural communication with specific reference to the UFS
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) De Wet, Johann C.
    This article offers an existential perspective on the possibilities of healthy intercultural communication in our communities where the participants share a common language such as English. While communication between different cultural groups is often problematic, it is argued that intercultural communication should ideally take the form of a meeting on the "narrow ridge" as the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber (1878- 1965) would say. The general implications of communicating on the "narrow ridge" are highlighted and contextualised within the communicative circumstances at the University of the Free State (UFS). Various modes of intercultural communicative interactions are referred to as well as the similarities and differences between Botho!Ubuntu and existential dialogue. The article concludes that an existential perspective on intercultural communication provides no instant solution, but that it does awaken us to our communicative responsibilities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Finding a new policy model for public service broadcasting
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Fourie, Pieter J.
    The market paradigm in South Africa has eroded public service broadcasting (PSB) values and principles. The adoption of the market paradigm (even in a limited way) has diminished PSB's potential role in development and nation building. In order to secure the future of PSB, a new policy model is needed. In this article such a model is proposed against the background of the need to acknowledge the changed nature of society, democracy, social responsibility, the changed nature of the media and media environment, and the policy paradoxes created by the market paradigm for PSB. Some of the paradoxes related to regulation, funding, access and content are highlighted. The article concludes by stating that the time has come to move beyond PSB as an institution to PSB as a genre spread over the spectrum of the broadcasting industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    From deaf to deaf: obtaining communication choice in an era of change
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Smith, Magteld
    This opinion piece is from a "deaf' perspective. The writer's intention is not to list all the prevailing misconceptions and misunderstandings about deafness, deaf people, and sign language. Rather, it is to promote a line of thought and action that may lead people to undertake meaningful and effective programmes for the "deaf'. The arguments emanate from a combination of frustration and anger over the failure of hearing people to recognise and make appropriate use of deaf people's strengths, personal development, politics and, indeed, the exercise of choice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Information for disaster management: back to basics
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Coetzee, Mercia
    To be prepared to manage a disaster implies to a great extent the availability of the necessary information. The managing of information and information technology is an important component of a disaster management plan. Information management therefore entails the creation of an information infrastructure with the data and information required for dealing with various phases of different kinds of disasters successfully. The growth in online information, and the ease with which everyone can add information to the WWW. creates the false idea that information will always be available and easily accessible. The correct information will, however, only be available if a disaster is anticipated, and the information that may be needed is collected and processed beforehand, so that it is available at the time it may be needed. The focus of this article is to discuss the creation and maintenance of a database with basic information for disaster management in the context of the various types of disasters that could occur in southern Africa; and also to explain the processes of · collation, processing and distribution of disaster information. The specific types of information that should be available in different disaster situations, and for different areas, will also be explained.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The pornography debate: historical reflections on the legalisation of pornography in South African communities
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Stemmet, J-A.
    The 1996 Films and Publications Act marked a dramatic turnabout, if not a fundamental circumvolution, in South Africa's all too flagging contemporary history of freedom of speech. Brought about by an unprecedented wave of readily available sexually explicit material and apparent discrepancies between the new constitution and the censorship system that prevailed, its drafting took place amidst intense nationwide debate. The debate was dominated by the question of whether pornography ought to be legalised, or whether the strict censorship thereof should be sustained. This article will comment on basic differences between the historical contexts of the 1990s debate and previous debates. It also examines three main arguments that dominated the debate: Morality, harm and sexual hate speech, and creating an equilibrium. In each instance the relevant concluding findings of the Task Group, charged with drafting the abovementioned act, will be noted. The conclusion reflects on the character of the debate and its main shortcomings, as well as the overriding importance of sustained multidisciplinary research into the topic. Due to obvious constraints on space the article is an abridged historical review but is, nonetheless, indicative of the overriding sentiments and dominant features characterising the topic at hand.
  • ItemOpen Access
    News framing of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki in South African media
    (Department of Communication Science, University of the Free State, 2005) Botha, Nicolene; De Beer, Arnold S.
    South Africa'sfirst two democratically elected presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, are portrayed very differently by the media. Since the 1999 transfer of the country's leadership to Thabo Mbeki, the two leaders were frequently compared by the media. Reports that appeared in the study period of 2002 to 2004 in mostly South African newspapers depicted former president Nelson Mandela as the "magic man" who is revered by celebrities and street children alike for his warmth, humanity and statesmanship. President Thabo Mbeki on the other hand was portrayed as the rather cold and distant "mystery man": the highly intelligent politician who plays clever word and political games. Jn this article a number of theoretical framing tools are developed to compare the apparent assumptions about, and portrayal of, as well as the hugely disparate public media images of, the character and personality of Mandela and Mbeki. Elements of literary characterisation, such as appearance, behaviour, and effect on others, are used to determine the frames of reference created by the media in their reports on the two men. These tools are universally applicable in the analysis of media personalities and may prove helpful to other researchers working in this field of study.