UNISA Short Course in Classification of Media Content in South Africa
The purpose of the SLP will be enhance knowledge and understanding of the classification of content and ensure that individuals receive formal education related to the subject.
Individuals currently involved in the media environment such as examiners of content employed by the FPB and other organisations such as Multichoice against the background of the convergence of media. However the SLP will also be accessible to other individuals who might be interested in the South African media industry from a classification perspective.
This programme is accessible to those who hold a National Senior Certificate (or its equivalent) and those who are granted access through a process of Recognition of Prior Learning according to Unisa policy. The practical implementation of recognition of prior learning is determined according to Unisa policy directives. Those candidates who have a legal qualification at NQF level 7 or 8 may be exempted/receive credit for the first module namely, Introduction to Law, according to the processes and procedures set by Unisa.
Where a student wishes to gain entry or exemption from specific modules via the RPL process he/she must contact the administrator indicated below for information on the RPL process and the requirements in this regard.
The short learning programme is 12 months in duration. 4 compulsory modules are offered in the first semester (or registration intake) and 4 compulsory modules in the second semester (or registration intake).
Semester 1: Application and registration closes on the 27th of February 2024
Semester 2: Application and registration opens on the 5th of June 2024 and closes on the 14th of July 2024
Learning is exclusively online supported by workshops where appropriate
Formative and summative assessment occurs in all modules.
- Legal framework distinguishing between substantive and formal law with a discussion of the aims and objectives of both fields and their various sub-divisions. The place of the Film and Publication Board in the framework of South African law is indicated specifically.
- The sources of South African law. On this point the focus will be on the general sources demonstrated through their application to the field of classification specifically.
- Legal philosophies and themes underlying law and its purpose in society. This topic was included on the advice of one of the attendees of our previous meeting. It will present the theories of law which will be tied through examples to the work of classifiers. This forms the philosophical content of legal theory and interpretation.
- Classification of law into constitutional, customary, civil and criminal law. Here the categorisation will form the background for the introduction of specific aspects related to classifiers such as freedom of speech, criminal and civil liability for aspect of rights infringement etc.
- Overview of the court structure.
- The international framework for children’s rights.
- The constitutional framework for children’s rights
- Overview of the central legislative acts having an impact on children’s rights in South Africa.
- Children’s rights in the international and domestic law framework
- The Convention on the Rights of the Child with focus on the content of the Convention and its effect on domestic law;
- Optional protocols to the CRC with a focus on the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;
- The African Union and children’s rights with a focus on the African Charter on the Welfare of the Child and the African Youth Charter.
- South African constitutional law and the rights of the child with a focus on:
- Exploring section 28 of the South African Constitution through legislative provisions;
- Exploring the impact of section 28 of the Constitution through case law.
- Children’s rights in context
This part of the module involves an exploration of the bio-psycho-socio-economic sphere of children’s rights in South Africa. It is based on exploring the legitimacy of both the African Charter and the Convention within the plural nature of society. This module explores various themes, such as:
a)The concept of childhood
b)The changing nature of childhood
c)Vulnerability in childhood
d)The conception of childhood within African communities
e)The relationship between childhood and children’s rights
f) The image of childhood underlying the international law of children’s rights
g) Childhood and the African Children’s Charter
h) Consolidating the new image of childhood in favour of the rights and welfare of the African child
i)The concept of culture and its relevance for children’s rights
j)Cultural legitimacy and its relevance children’s rights in Africa
Children’s rights in the international and domestic law framework
a)The Convention on the Rights of the Child
b)Optional protocols to the CRC
1.Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
c)The African Union and children’s rights
1.The African Charter
2.African Youth Charter
d)South African Constitutional Law and the rights of the child
1.Exploring section 28 of the South African Constitution
2.Exploring the impact of section 28 of the Constitution through case law
- Introduction and background to the FPB with a focus on:
- Historical overview and present activities
- Historical overview of the Review Board/Appeal Tribunal
- The role of the Board and Appeal Tribunal
- The road from censorship to classification (ending in the passing of the Constitution).
- The Constitutional and statutory framework
- The role of a classifier. This theme aims to orientate a classifier to both the theoretical framework for his or her role and to include practical skills such as report writing, case analysis, reasoning and argument techniques, compliance with industry standards and protocols and quality assurance.
The science of effective classification. This module uses the content of module 5 of the learner guide to orientate the candidate to the constitutional principles of classification, the categories of classification, ethical norms and standards, the process of classification and making judgments in classification.
- Child protection in the context of child development with a focus on child development theory (cognitive, emotional and social) and its significance to classifiers. This theme relies on the topics and outcomes indicated in module 6 of the learner guide. It uses the themes indicated within specific legislation and case law to demonstrate the practical implications of the various themes on the work of classification.
- Child pornography and the impact of the cyber environment as an agency of child pornography. This theme relies on the topics and outcomes indicated in module 6 of the learner guide. It uses the themes indicated within specific legislation and case law to demonstrate the practical implications of the various themes on the work of classification.
- The sexualisation of children in the media and the impact thereof on the work of classifiers. This aspect includes a discussion of the assessment of a child using physical characteristics.
- The effect of child pornography on children and adults
- Prejudice with a focus on the meaning, nature and scope of prejudice in the media and the classification of publications, games and films. This theme relies on the topics and outcomes indicated in module 7 of the learner guide. It uses the themes indicated within specific legislation and case law to demonstrate the practical implications of the various themes on the work of classification.
- Blasphemy and its meaning, nature, scope and content in the legal sphere, community sphere and classification sphere. This theme relies on the topics and outcomes indicated in module 8 of the learner guide. It uses the themes indicated within specific legislation and case law to demonstrate the practical implications of the various themes on the work of classification.
The module is divided into two parts to wit:
- The technical aspects of film making and the effect thereof on classification. The content of this module requires the input of industry experts who specialise in the filmmaking process and thus we rely here only on the existing content of module 10 in the existing guide.
- The second aspect of this module focuses on the practical application of:
- Age categories in film – content, scope and application
- Classification categories in film – content, scope and application
The module is divided into three parts to wit:
- The technical aspects of gaming and the gaming industry and there effect thereof on classification. The content of this module requires the input of industry experts who specialise in the gaming and gaming content.
- The second aspect of this module focuses on the practical application of:
- Age categories in gaming – content, scope and application
- Classification categories in gaming – content, scope and application
- New media and the impact on classification
- Convergence of regulations and legislation impacting classification with focus on:
- Background to the broadcasting and telecommunications landscape;
- Background to the telecommunications and electronic communications landscape;
- Broadcasting Act 4 of 1999;
- The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa;
- Electronic Communications Act;
- Protection of Personal Information Act;
- Internet Service Providers Association,
- Wireless Applications Service Providers Association;
- National Association of Broadcasters;
- Convergence of technology and the impact on the work of FPB classifiers;
- New media and its impact on classification in South Africa with focus on:
- The new media landscape (definitions, interface and effect);
- Social media (definitions, interface, effect and regulation).
- The future of classification in South Africa, Africa and the global community.
- Depending on the number of candidates registered this module is designed to take place over a pre-determined number of days at the offices of the FPB. Alternatively it may take place in blocks of time at an alternative venue if the number of students cannot be accommodated by FPB.
- Prior to the assessment, the candidate is provided with a film/game/other digital media that requires classification.
- The candidate is expected to classify the product presented and draft a report with recommendations according to FPB procedures and requirements.
- The report is presented to an FPB employee for assessment.
- Where necessary an appeal can be simulated during which the candidates are divided into two groups to present their respective cases to the appeal tribunal, who then assess the candidates on their respective cases.
Professor MG Karels
College of Law
Ms T Mapokgole