Bellagio Publishing Network  

 BPN Newsletter Issue No 25, July 1999 



Southern African Media Directory 1999

ISBN 9991672842, 76pp, 1999, The Media Institute of Southern Africa, Private Bag 13386, 21 Johan Albrecht Street, Windhoek, Namibia, e-mail:, price not reported, pb.

Review by Hans M Zell
Hans M Zell is a publishing consultant specialising in scholarly publishing, journals publishing management and reference book publishing, 11 Richmond Road, PO Box 56, Oxford, OX1 2SJ, England. Tel +44 1865 511428, fax +44 1865 311534, e-mail:

Published by the Media Institute of Southern Africa MISA) - an NGO dedicated to promoting media freedom and diversity and a pluralistic African press - this is the second edition of a useful guide to the media throughout Southern Africa. Handsomely produced in A4 size format it includes a total of 972 entries, which represents a very substantial increase in the number listed in the first edition. Arranged by countries, information provided on each country includes extensive listings of daily and weekly newspapers, periodicals and magazines, news agencies, printers and publishers, radio and TV broadcasting stations, media consultants and advertising agencies, video production services, media associations, media training institutions, government offices dealing with information, and Internet service providers (ISPs). For the most part address details are very full and include electronic contact information. All listings are preceded by basic factual information on each country, and this is followed by a two or three page overview of the current state of the media in each country. Some advertising is also included.

Whereas the sections on newspapers, for example, seem to be fairly comprehensive, those on book publishers (for some countries listed under 'Printing and Publishing', for others under 'Book Publishers' or, misleadingly, 'Printing Publishers') are very poor or uneven. They are good, for example for Namibia and Botswana, adequate for Malawi or Zambia, but totally inadequate for Zimbabwe (eight entries for printers, 22 magazine listings, a large number of newspapers but no listings at all for book publishers), and non-existent for South Africa, which contains two entries under 'Printing and Publishers', but one of these is in fact the Printing Industry Federation of South Africa, and the other the Publishers Association of South Africa (PASA).

In spite of this weakness, the directory is nevertheless a very useful reference and networking tool for the media in Southern Africa; it is probably also the most current resource (with the exception of South African media, which are covered more comprehensively elsewhere). African studies libraries will want to acquire this directory, as will libraries with media collections. [end] [BPN, no 29, 2001, p 19.]

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