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- Volume 7, Issue 2, 2013
Global Media Journal - African Edition - Volume 7, Issue 2, 2013
Volume 7, Issue 2, 2013
Author Ibrahim SalehSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp viii –xii (2013)More Less
During elections it is particularly important to assess the role media have of holding government to account on behalf of citizens. While media, in particular commercial media, do not sign a formal contract stating that they endorse and will fulfill this role, this expectation must be recognised and honoured in support of the argument for a free and plural media.
Source: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 92 –115 (2013)More Less
Discourses on democracy in Africa often revolve around the relevance of Western democracy to African nations given the region's peculiar socio-economic and cultural conditions (Ezeani, 2013). In many African countries, evidence abounds of the absence of democratic dividends, an indicator of the apparent failure of liberal democracy in the region. The media as the fourth estate of the realm is often seen, albeit idealistically, as being positioned to rise above democratic failures and, in its watchdog roles, to work towards the enthronement of good governance. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, the environment within which the media operates vis-à-vis the ownership structures has continuously posed stoic challenges to its expected roles. The result is continuous dilemmatic practices, whereby the media's position as bastion of democracy is consistently negotiated. This article, with exemplars from the Nigerian media scene over the years, x-rays the stoic challenges which media ownership poses to Nigerian society as the nation works towards development through good governance. It argues that ownership patterns, pressures and politics continue to challenge the consistent and committed role of the media in deepening our march towards good democratic governance. The article, however, concludes that rather than heaping the blame on the media, one could more safely return a verdict of collective responsibility - viewing the failings of the media within the larger context of the failings of the social system in which the media are embedded. Such thinking invariably points to the fact that various stakeholders other than the media have a role to play in enthroning good governance in the Nigerian polity.
Author Albert ChibuweSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 116 –139 (2013)More Less
Post-2000 Zimbabwe has been characterised by massive political contestations mainly between the President Robert Mugabe-led Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) government and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai. This battle has been fought on many fronts including the media and international forums with ZANU PF accusing the MDC of being 'puppets' of the British and Americans. On the other hand, the MDC accuses ZANU PF of 'dictatorship'. This contestation has largely been more pronounced during election periods where it takes place through political advertisements in the media, music and election rallies among others. Whereas there have been many studies of the elections, media coverage of elections, alleged use of violence as an instrument of control, ZANU PF discourses through the media, official speeches and music among others, there has been little study of political advertising in Zimbabwe. This is despite the centrality of political advertising in political contestation in a democracy (Kaid, 2012). This paper, through a review and analysis of existing Zimbabwean literature on media coverage of elections, music nationalism, political journalism, cultural journalism among other political communication related studies, proposes a new theory of post-colonial African political communication and/or political advertising. It argues that existing scholarship tends to rely too much on Western theory and post-colonial essentialism to interpret ZANU PF discourses without acknowledging the peculiarities of the post-colonial African state which makes it different from the Western liberal democratic state and thus makes Western theory alone is inadequate as an analytical tool to understand post-colonial African phenomenon. The paper argues that the practice of political advertising in Zimbabwe can best be understood through political communication theory and through acknowledging that the African post-colonial state is an 'artefact' of colonialism that has no link to any pre-colonial reality (Shaw, 1986).
The role of the private print media in post-socialist Ethiopia - views from government, opposition politicians, academics and the private pressAuthor Melisew DejeneSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 140 –171 (2013)More Less
Recounting the views of the government, opposition politicians, academics and the private press itself as represented by their editors, the study argues that the private print media in Ethiopia are subject to external and internal challenges that dwarf its role in helping the transition to democracy. The volatility of the socio-political context regarding their operation and the low readership culture could be singled out among the external challenges to the private media. The major challenge associated with the private print media themselves is lack of professional knowledge and capacity. The study uses McQuail's Normative Theory of Media Structure and Performance to frame the role of the private print media in Ethiopia of the last two decades. Though the private print media contributed to the struggle for democracy, their role is below the societal demands.
Author John KakonageSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 172 –180 (2013)More Less
African countries have prepared long-term plans and strategic visions for their national development that capture their aspirations, and these commonly include becoming industrialized by 2020 or at the latest 2030. However, the realization of these visions is constrained by several challenges. This paper will briefly examine the factors impeding implementation, and the positive role the media could play in accelerating the process.
Are new media technologies positively influencing democratic participation? Evidence from the 2008 elections in ZimbabweAuthor Bruce MutsvairoSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 181 –200 (2013)More Less
This research is a case study analysis of the 2008 national elections in Zimbabwe. The elections are considered crucial in the history of the country because long-time President Robert Mugabe suffered an unprecedented defeat at the hands of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the first of the two rounds of voting. This study presupposes the view that as digital technologies become more accessible and affordable, more people are able to easily coordinate, organise and advance their interests. It aims to critically examine the overall role played by the Internet in propelling democratic reforms in Zimbabwe, specifically focusing on its role during the 2008 elections. The major question in the research pertains to the assumed use of new media technologies by Zimbabwean exiles to channel pro-opposition information into the country, effectively leading to President Mugabe's losing. The paper refutes, based on empirical interviews conducted with Zimbabwean expatriates and immigrants living in the UK as well as a sample of locally based Zimbabweans, the notion that new media technologies helped the opposition Movement for Democratic Change see off Mugabe in the elections.
Author Maurice OdineSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 201 –225 (2013)More Less
Of the many problems that face Africa, conflict is perpetual. In a continent whose land mass is one-fifth of the world, and where ethnicity is omnipresent, conflict is nearly inevitable. Africans are captive to the divisive and manipulative colonial repression that has placed hurdles toward nation building, particularly because foreign powers partitioned Africa without regard to culture or socio-economic development. Hence, Africa has been, for decades, been the battleground for East-West political and economic interests. Despite flagrant suffering and millions dead due to conflict, media coverage (championed by western media) have either been silent or selective as evidenced by the United States (US) and British media. Even reportage filed from Africa has been edited to suit Western audiences and other pecuniary interests. To counter tribal connotations not only to forestall stereotypes, but also to assure accuracy and fairness, African countries have instituted peace journalism in association with sympathetic international media organizations with focus on conflict resolution. Furthermore, the advent of "peace journalism" is intended to undercut the "CNN factor" whereby incredulous sources are paraded before television cameras.
Author L. Meghan MahoneySource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 7, pp 226 –252 (2013)More Less
An estimated 34 million people globally are living with HIV, with Sub-Saharan Africabeing the most severely affected area, with nearly 1 in every 20 adults diagnosed (UNAIDS, 2012). Botswana experiences one of the highest adult prevalence rates in Sub-Saharan Africa, with almost 100,000 children, in a country of only two million people, having lost a parent to the virus (Botswana Country Report, 2010). Makgabaneng is a serial radio soap drama that addresses critical HIV/AIDS awareness and behaviour change issues in Botswana. This study aims to understand how fans of the programme understand the storyline that presents narratives where female characters are portrayed as educated, independent and confident individuals. Results of 42 in-depth interviews with self-defined fans of the drama show that males are constructed as uneducated, irresponsible and dependent in society. It is recommended that Makgabaneng address this inequity by creating a more balanced number of positive and negative female and male characters.