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Digital Television and its (Dys)Functions in Africa

Digital Television and its (Dys)Functions in Africa
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Author(s): John Bosco Mayiga (The University of Western Ontario, Canada)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 16
Source title: Impacts of the Knowledge Society on Economic and Social Growth in Africa
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Lloyd G. Adu Amoah (Ashesi University, Ghana & Strategy3, Ghana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5844-8.ch002

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Abstract

In 2006, the International Telecommunication Union resolved on a digital terrestrial broadcasting plan to migrate all television broadcasting systems from analogue to digital by June 2015. The stated objective of the switch to digital systems is to achieve qualitative and quantitative rationalization in order to maximize communication benefits. While digital migration may be seen as part of the exponential developments in science and innovation, it obscures serious conceptual issues and social inequalities. This chapter offers a theoretical examination of the ideological and political-economic logics behind the global digital terrestrial migration plan. From a broad critique of the concepts of “Knowledge Society/Information Society,” taking a critical lens into the works of Daniel Bell (1974) and Manuel Castells (2000), and drawing from Guy Berger's (2010) critique of the digital migration process, this author questions the logic of approximating digitization to development and argues that the mandatory migration of TV broadcasting systems requires critical analysis regarding its social costs to Africa.

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