Document / Media Alert

Public Service Announcement Guidelines: Ministry of ICT Swaziland

The following document is the ‘public service announcement’ guidelines issued by Swaziland’s ministry of information, communication and technology. Click here to be re-directed to the ministry of ICT website

Ministry of Information and Communications and Technology

Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services Public Service Announcement Guidelines 

1.    Introduction

1.1 The Ministry of Information Communications and Technology presents the following guideline for Public Service Announcements (PSA) on behalf of Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services. These are to be observed and followed by both the Radio station and the public in order to ensure a smooth and professional service to the nation.

2.    Definition

2.1 A free PSA is defined as:

any announcement for which no charge is made, which promotes programs, activities or services of state, Local Government, Tinkhundla or the programs, activities, or services of non-profit organizations, e.g. United Nations, Red Cross, etc. and other announcements regarded as serving community interests, routine weather announcements and Royal announcements, etc.

2.2 The following are guidelines as set forth by the Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services regarding the submission of a written announcement or Audio:

2.2.1      The copy of written announcement or Audio must pertain to the Kingdom of Swaziland:

2.2.2      Any PSA:

(i)            That is contrary to the Laws, regulations and the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland shall not be allowed

(ii)          Organized by, and/or benefitting a political candidate will not be accepted, except in circumstances where prior arrangement has been made with relevant authorities or during official election periods and campaigning has been officially opened to all individuals by the Elections and Boundaries Committee

(iii)         That is for campaigning, announcement for campaign purposes shall not be allowed, except when it has been sanctioned by relevant authorities

(iv)         That is negative or does not support Government’s agenda shall not be allowed

(v)          That seeks to promote Witchcraft, Fortune Telling, Astrology, Phrenology, and other forms of occultism, such as spiritualism, mind or character reading, handwriting, palm reading numerology, etc., shall not be allowed

(vi)         That is calculated or likely to offend any section of the population / gender / racial group, etc., shall not be allowed

(vii)       That is obscene, indecent, profane or of doubtful propriety or in anyway contrary to the accepted standards of good taste and morality shall not be allowed

(viii)      Which is malicious, scandalous, defamatory or false / questionable / grossly exaggerated statement or claim, or any other form of misrepresentation shall not be allowed

(ix)         That promotes or invites to partake in alcoholic beverages or spiritual liquors and gambling that contradicts the laws of the Kingdom of Swaziland shall not be allowed

(x)          Of a commercial nature or value that promotes any product or service as defined by the SBIS Commercial Code shall not be allowed as a PSA, it will be treated as an advertisement.

2.2.3      SBIS shall ensure the following:

(i)            No programming (including news bulletins) other than paid-for commercial advertising should be allowed to promote an individual or organization

(ii)          A medium should be established through which information from politicians should be communicated to reporters. Executive Producers and Editors are to monitor information flow from members of the public through producers and reporters meant for broadcast purposes

(iii)         Individual sections must adhere to administratively and professionally drawn set of responsibilities in order to avoid overlapping of responsibilities

(iv)         Editors and Executive Producers should ensure that all broadcasting has been personally approved by them prior to broadcast, at all time including night-time, weekends and public holidays

(v)          Editors and Executive Producers shall ensure that their working hours are sufficiently flexible to ensure 2.2.3 (iv) is adhered to at all times

(vi)         The news coverage of the activities of Their Majesties and the Head of Government shall be coordinated by a pool of full-time, appropriately trained and experienced staff members, in respect of both local and international activities

(vii)       Issues of National interest such as Development should feature prominently during broadcasts

(viii)      All broadcasts (programmes and news) that raise issues relating to Executive arm of Government should receive a timely response from the concerned Ministry or the Government spokesperson before being aired; this shall include issues raised in Parliament

(ix)         The Guidelines on Public Service Announcements shall be observed at all times; the definitions of such announcements is contained in those Guidelines

(x)          There shall be criteria and guidelines regarding the recognition and use in broadcasting of all personal titles (e.g. royalty, prophets, doctorates, etc.)

(xi)         Programmes should be classified appropriately, with each category having a practical structure and sequence of programmes, and a standardization of time-slots, with such information publicized weekly

(xii)       Programmes should adhere continuously to the specific language of the channel; within each channel high grammatical and presentational standards shall be maintained; editors and programme supervisors should monitor this

(xiii)      To secure improved collection of broadcasting revenue though commercial broadcasts or advertising and announcements, the accounts section should be directly involved

(xiv)      There should be a clear distinction between the presentation of news and the broadcasting of advertisements

(xv)       All news bulletins must be produced with sounds bites and other broadcasting requirements in order to adhere to current practices and standards of the industry

(xvi)      All recruitment, including officers on contract, should be in line with Government General Orders with the Civil Service Commission leading the process; SBIS should be allowed to inform the process, ensuring that recruits possess the qualifications, skills and experience relevant to a radio station; the process should be transparent, avoiding corruption, favoritism and nepotism

(xvii)    Management should ensure that all sections have adequate resources to carry out their responsibilities within the context of the total resources allocated to SBIS; this may  include the re-allocation of resources among sections as considered necessary by management

(xviii)   No behind the scenes commercial dealings between radio personnel and artists intending to promote their music but only through an official medium or committee responsible for the evaluation of their broadcasts.

3.    Terms and Conditions

3.1 There will be no coverage of events except those authorized by the relevant structures

3.2 A PSA shall be considered to be acceptable if it conforms to the following terms and conditions:

3.2.1      If it is line with Government Policy

3.2.2      If it is authorized by the Chiefs through The Regional Administrator’s office or Deputy Prime Ministers office, i.e. if it related to disaster, assistance, financial or otherwise

3.2.3      If it authorized by the Tinkhundla Convention

3.2.4      If it is not used:

(i)            for purposes of campaigning by individuals or groups

(ii)          to advance an agenda for political, financial popularity gains for individuals or groups

3.2.5      The PSA is not guaranteed specific air times or quantity [volume words]. Airing times and quanity of airing are per the discretion of the Director or Principal Programs Officer

3.2.6      A written, audio/viedo PSA must bear letter heads of authorized structures/institutions as well as signature of authorizing institution

3.2.7      Broadcasting of PSA on all SBIS channels will only be made on a time available basis

(i)            A PSA must be 10,15, 30 or 60 seconds in length

(ii)          Submitting person(s) or organization(s) must ensure that they have the rights to distribute and broadcast the PSA

(iii)         The submitting person(s) or organization(s) authorizes SBIS to broadcast the submitted PSA

(iv)         The submitting person(s) or organization(s) indemnifies SBIS from any and all liability arising out   of or in connection with the making, producing, reproducing processing, exhibiting, distributing, publishing, transmitting by any means or otherwise during the transmission and/or recording and/or distribution of the Audio PSA

(v)          Submitted copies of written announcement or Audio will not be returned

(vi)         SBIS reserves the right to refuse the airing of a PSA on all its channels and is under no obligation to broadcast any information

Click here to be re-directed to the ministry of ICT website

Click here to be re-directed to the ‘contact us’ page on the ministry of ICT website

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