Children's programming on South African public service television: filling the gaps in policy and practice

This study discusses the policy and regulatory framework of the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) television programming for children. The SABC’s children’s programming is examined with a view to identifying gaps in both policy and practice. The study argues that the programming needs of children require attention as children’s television programming is not fully representative of the diverse needs of all South African children. It further argues that the funding and financing has impacted significantly on the SABC’s ability to provide a wide range of programme genres for children. The study also contends that programmes are not scheduled appropriately for children, nor are they substantially available to the majority of children who speak languages other than English. It is further posited that a policy review be conducted to ensure that the unique needs of children are properly catered for. The study identifies media literacy as well as child participation as key components to facilitate the meaningful development of programming for children.