|Three tiered development: The case of the Nkosinathi literacy project.||Evans, Iain|
|Media, Development and Democratisation: A Research Project||Bold, Lisa|
Three tiered development: The case of the Nkosinathi literacy project.
Type of product: Research Essay, MA course
Place: Culture, Communication and Media Studies, University of Natal, Durban
The Nkosinathi literacy project is an adult literacy programme currently conducted in the rural community of Cramond in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. The aims of the project are to improve literacy and thinking skills of community members to help them engage more assertively in community affairs (Evans, 1999). The significance of this project in terms of development theory is the way in which the project is facilitated and how this project fits into the larger framework of society. For the purpose of this paper I will look at this development project on three levels. The first level, the micro level, is the literacy project itself and the way in which classes are facilitated. This includes the methods and tools of learning and the general philosophy of the project. Secondly I will look at the meso level. This level is how the literacy project fits into the greater Nkosinathi Community Programme. Finally I will look at the macro level which is how the literacy project and its participants function in the broader fabric of society.
Media, Development and Democratisation: A Research Project
Type of product: MA essay
Copyright: Centre for Cultural and Media Studies, University of Natal, Durban
The constitution and maintenance of a public sphere is a never ending problem in all societies. The term refers to social action, cultural institutions, and collective decision making that affects all members of society. The public sphere is aforum for the creation of common national goals and welfare considerations, and also defines areas of contributive (contribution to common welfare) anddistributive justice (distribution of benefits according to needs) (Robert White)
Incontemporary society globalisation and homogenisation of communication is rapidly gathering momentum, and monopolisation and commercialisation of information and expansion of a global economy is also increasing. This has led to a subversion of democratic processes and reduced popular participation in the public sphere. It is apparent too, that as new technologies are introduced, human dignity is further diminished. Increasing numbers of people recognise the social and political potential new technologies hold, and oppose state and corporate control of information and communications (FAWO, 1994).
Individuals are not born to be consumers. Nor is information a commodity, but rather a utility to be shared. Communication technologies canbe creatively used to enhance democratic participation. Community media projects show it is possible and necessary to appropriate and liberate communication technology to strengthen popular participation in democratic processes to express cultural diversity, to defend struggles and to empower the disenfranchised.
South Africa holds a unique situation within the global information revolution. As a relative latecomer to electronic media and community media in particular, ithas just undergone a people-powered revolution which has placed key people in the position of defining a public sphere. This presents an opportunity to plan a positive futurefor a ‘local information order. This essay takes this issue as its starting Pointand offers a project for community research and involvement inthe media, which conforms to abroader aim of democratisation of communication. It begins by locating the project within the broader theoretical framework and then proceeds to discuss the actual process of the project itself. This proposal will hopefully find support in the broader democratisation of South African society on sociocultural economic and political levels.