Kate Skinner – Support Public Broadcasting (SOS)

Kate Skinner is the Co ordinator of the Support Public Broadcasting (SOS) Coalition. She is a long standing media and community activist, and campaigner for human rights. Kate has also worked on media for trade unions in South Africa and for rural development environments. She has also served for many years as the Chairperson of the Freedom of Expression Institute. Ensuring that the disempowered have a voice that is effective and uncensored has been a lifetime campaign for Kate.

About this Conversation

We spoke to Kate about SOS, and why a wide range of civil society organisations believe it is important to actively organise to transform the national broadcaster. We discuss the role and relevance of the national broadcaster and what purpose it serves in presenting a platform for diverse views, and space of local content.

Kate shared with us some of the challenges that prefaced the Campaign.  She throws some light on the trials and tribulations that plagued the national broadcaster – the management and political crisis, relationships with advertisers, producers and internal working models of the SABC.

We discussed the programme that was actioned to transform the SABC, the outcomes of these efforts and the role of stakeholders.

While the Campaign has reached a point of more cordial dialogue with the broadcaster, ongoing active engagement with the broadcaster, to ensure that citizens needs are being met, are encouraged by Kate. She highlights a number of avenues for this to occur.

Points of Discussion

  • What keeps you motivated as an activist?
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  • Why Support Public Broadcasting campaign?
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  • What were the challenges in the SABC?
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  • Why did the SABC need an SABC International?
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  • Has the SABC ever been profitable?
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  • Was there a backlash from Advertisers against the SABC?
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  • From 2008 till now has the SABC gotten worse or stabilised?
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  • What has been the negative fallout for content producers and citizens of a weakened SABC?
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  • How does the SABC become relevant and functional?
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  • What is the regulator ICASA supposed to be doing?
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  • What is the purpose of a public broadcaster?
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  • How is the relationship between the coalition and the SABC?
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  • What are key issues for the campaign right now?
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  • Do we need an Occupy SABC?
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  • How can people support the campaign?
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  • How should people support the campaign?
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Contact Details for Kate Skinner:

Website: http://www.supportpublicbroadcasting.co.za/

LinkedIn: http://za.linkedin.com/pub/kate-skinner/27/a91/329

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