On 07 February 2012, the Deputy Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in Presidency, Mr Obed Bapela and the MDDA hosted a Media Conference to introduce the new Board members and bid farewell to the outgoing Board members. At the same Conference, the Agency launched the Media Literacy Toolkit with learners and educators from beneficiary schools in the Eastern Cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal.
The President of the Republic, his Excellency Jacob Zuma, acting in terms of Section 4 (1) (b) and Section 4 (1) (c) of the MDDA Act appointed: Mr Phenyo Nonqane, Ms Rene Alicia Smith, Mr Jimmy Manyi, Mr Thato Mahapa and Ms Ingrid Louw as new Board members with effect from 01 January 2012 for a term of three years. This appointment follows a Parliamentary public participatory process, through the Portfolio Committee on Communications, which recommended Ms Rene Alicia Smith and Mr Phenyo Nonqane in terms of Section 4 (1) (b) of the MDDA Act. The other three (Ms Ingrid Louw, Mr. Thato Mahapa and Mr. Jimmy Manyi) are appointed by the President in terms of Section 4 (1) (c) taking into consideration Section 15 of the MDDA Act. They are from the commercial print media, commercial broadcast media and Government.
They are filling the vacancies left after the departure of Ms Phumelele Nzimande, Dr. Tanja Bosch and Ms Nebo Legoabe who served and completed their full terms. The MDDA welcomes the new Board members to the team, commit to working with and supporting them, look forward to their wisdom, leadership and guidance, and wish them all the best in the quest to pursue the mandate enshrined in the MDDA Act. The wealth of their diverse expertise and experience viewed collectively will strengthen and enhance the work of the MDDA.
Further and again we take this opportunity to thank and salute the outgoing members Ms Phumelele Nzimande, Dr. Tanja Bosch and Ms Nebo Legoabe for the sterling work done and hope to continue counting on their support in the mammoth challenge of transforming and diversifying the media.
As Deputy Minister Obed Bapela said, the challenges of transforming print media in SA remains huge. The MDDA remains committed to work together with all South Africans to change the current media environment towards one that reflects and serve all citizens.
MEDIA LITERACY TOOLKIT
As part of its mandate to promote media literacy & the culture of reading, the MDDA partnered with the Institute for Advancement in Journalism (IAJ) and provided support towards the IAJ School Newspaper Programme and development of a Toolkit on Media Literacy Project. The Toolkit called "Start Your Own School Newspaper" is a result of numerous consultations with key stakeholders and experts in the field of children/youth media, journalism practitioners, educators and the learners themselves.
Further, the Agency formed a partnership with COGTA, Dept of Basic Education, Dept of Arts & Culture, IAJ and The Star Newspaper, among others, to introduce a culture of reading and basic media literacy amongst learners in schools, to promote the dialogue on media for learners and to encourage learners to be involved in producing their own media.
The long-term goal for MDDA and its partners is to see media literacy included in the school curriculum, rural schools producing their own media products and thereby promoting the culture of reading. The intention is to assist young people to be more critical consumers and producers of media as well as to stimulate an interest in media as a field of study. It is envisioned that through this initiative a platform will be set to develop media literacy skills which can be used across the curriculum, thereby contributing to the upliftment of educational standards and promotion of a culture of reading. The promotion of a reading culture amongst South Africans will extend the pool of creativity and communication skills in the country.
The "Start Your Own School Newspaper" Toolkit is envisaged to open opportunities for youth to become media entrepreneurs and contribute to the development and diversity of media. Together with the IAJ, the MDDA will continue to provide support to schools and learners that wish to begin producing their own school newsletters.