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In service of two masters: a political history of radio in pre-independence Botswana

Autor: James Zaffiro
Revista: Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies Nº 28 (6)
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02560046.2014.990658#

This study identifies and critically analyses the major imperial (global and regional) political and economic factors and decisions that influenced and shaped the development of pre-independence radio broadcasting in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. With little or no consideration of the needs of the local population, two duelling imperialist powers – Great Britain and the Union of South Africa – negotiated, disagreed, and eventually virtually co- established a centralised, administrative radio network that reflected their own regional ambitions. Based primarily on key official British Protectorate, High Commission and Union government documents obtained from extensive archival research in the Botswana National Archives, a detailed picture emerges of two duelling imperial powers planning for their own divergent regional futures, via the establishment of administrative and political dimensions of radio policies, for a territory which both wished to control for their own purposes.

Once Britain had decided against allowing South Africa's annexation of Bechuanaland, radio politics and policies fell more into line with those in other British colonial African and Asian territories, primarily managing perceived anti-colonial nationalist challenges and deterring the perceived threats posed by apartheid- and Cold War-inspired communist influences.