YouTube adds South Africa channel, and?

First impression of YouTube South Africa channel: Yeah! Content from Rhodes Journalism School, SABC.

Second impression: Um, what’s up with the meerkat videos?

I wrote a research paper last year documenting how YouTube videos about Kenya and Ghana tended to be about animals and were mainly  posted by Westerners, especially Americans.  (Research by media and film student Kris Hammer of Estonia’s Tallin University also suggests that Portuguese speaking Africa doesn’t fair much better, with most videos about those countries being posted from the US, UK and Portugal.) In other words,  the “everyone is equal” line when it comes to citizen media is a bit, um, optimistic.

I was hoping for something more substantial from this new channel, or it that too much to ask from YouTube?

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2 thoughts on “YouTube adds South Africa channel, and?

  1. I can’t get to it for some reason. Keep getting redirected to the US YouTube–strange.

    I think they’ll catch up but everyone is equal in citizen journalism only if they can get their hands on a camera and a decent Internet connection.

    For us even getting photos from some places in Africa is a challenge, because it takes 12 hours to upload. FedEx gets the video to us from Swaziland faster than the all-mighty Internet.

    I think we take our broadband for granted sometimes. The global village is not quite that global–the infrastructure is lagging.

  2. Can’t you use Send-it or some other compression software to send the video?
    But you’re right. The South Africa YouTube channel stuff I saw was in English. What about all the other languages? Plus, I think they have an indigenous video sharing site that’s already established — won’t this just run them out of business? Or is that the point?

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