Broadcasting in Developing Countries: Elements of a Conceptual Framework for Reform

Carter Eltzroth


Broadcasting has an important role in fostering development and alleviating poverty. It is an important industry in its own right and can contribute to growth elsewhere in the creative community. In addition, it can complement other development initiatives, serving as a vector for conveying information, for example, for health, training, and commercial markets. This article builds on the work of the World Bank and other sources on the role of broadcasting in development and reform in the sector. It examines four rationales that can serve as the basis for reform: “telecoms plus,” digital TV, comprehensive media reform, and convergence. For example, “telecoms plus” would extend liberalized rules on telecommunications to broadcast infrastructures. The digital TV rationale would allow a state to account for the advent of new broadcast technologies. The particular rationale adopted within a developing country would depend on its local circumstances. On the basis of these rationales, the article reviews the elements of a conceptual framework that could serve at the core of sector transformation: object of reform; content; infrastructure; ownership; regulator; and other elements for an environment that fosters broadcasting. The article concludes that any step for reform in broadcasting, as in other ICT sectors, should be linked to the overall development of the emerging economy.


Broadcase; Developing Countries; World Bank. Reform; Telecoms Plus; Digital TV; Broadcast

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