What 40 Years of Television Says about South Africa's Past, Present, and Future

Yusuf Omar of eNews Channel Africa reports that there are over 1 million more televisions in South Africa than refrigerators. But now, more South Africans rely on newer means of accessing media.

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Yusuf Omar of eNews Channel Africa reports that there are over 1 million more televisions in South Africa than refrigerators, per a recent survey. If you click the link above you'll be able to access a video of Omar recounting a brief-but-enlightening history of television in the country. Notable facts:

  • January 5, 1976 - the first day of broadcast television in South Africa, about 40 years behind the rest of the world
  • Television was banned by the National Party during the 1960s due to its potential to spread Communist ideals.
  • A nation-wide switch from analog to digital is forthcoming, though it's running behind schedule.
  • What's the Big Idea?

    From an analyst's perspective, the way Omar presents himself in the video speaks to a sort of meta understanding of the subject matter. Omar exudes hip and modern. He sports a bowtie and tux combo out of an 80s prom photo yet wears it casually. He addresses the audience in a way that reveals an understanding of the relationship between he and the viewer -- a sort of meta-journalism. You could say he evokes something of a hipster Edward R. Murrow.

    And that's notable because Omar spends a good chunk of the video analyzing how changes in the ways South Africans access content signals a passing of the torch between television and the internet. A nation that wasn't allowed to watch the lunar landing now stands on the precipice of a giant media shift. Omar presents (and represents) the idea ably enough.

    Read more at ENCA. Be sure to watch the video.

    Photo credit: michaeljung / Shutterstock

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