Global Media Journal - African Edition - latest Issue
Volume 9, Issue 2, 2015
Author Mohammed OmerSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 9, pp 105 –133 (2015)More Less
With very limited English language literature on the history of the Palestinian media, this paper is meant to offer a historical background of the present Palestinian media landscape, especially in Gaza and the West Bank. It surveys the long history of the Palestinian printed press starting from the era of the Ottoman empire, through the eras of the British Mandate, revolt, Egyptian control, Israeli occupation to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. Throughout, it is noted how inter-elite competition fosters media factionalism. However, the birth of nationalist media survived under different forms of occupation and against all odds. This is also a continuous thread in the history of media in Palestine. The detailed examination of this history makes it possible to connect past trends with contemporary technological developments, including the advent of satellite TV. The study thus reveals the longer-term trends that underlie some of the more puzzling features of media in the Palestinian context today.
Dress, address and redress - the relationships between female domestic workers and their employers in Cape Town, South AfricaSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 9, pp 134 –155 (2015)More Less
This study draws on in-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews to explore the relationships between black female domestic workers and their white, female employers in Cape Town's wealthy Southern suburbs through the lens of culture, class, race and gender. The majority of domestic workers in South Africa are black women and formalizing work conditions has been difficult because they work in private households. Despite the birth of democracy with the country's first non-racial elections in 1994, South Africa remains one of the world's most unequal societies. The study is particularly concerned with the personal nature of the relationship between the so-called 'maids' and 'madams,' which is explored via a convenience sample of pairs of employers and employees who were interviewed. The article concludes that there are three categories of relationship: distant, maternal and friendship. These relationship categories are examined in terms of the aesthetic features of the relationship such as dress; the diction employed in verbal interactions, such as how parties address one another; and redress, which involves the manner in which employers attempt to deal with apartheid-wrongs. The article also explores issues related to perceived cultural differences. The study revealed a wide variety in the types of relationships between 'maids' and 'madams', informed in varying degrees by issues of class race and culture, unique to the South African context. While employers were very conscious of their power and status as 'madams', and in some cases consciously sought ways to compensate for the unequal power relationship, the study reveals that domestic work by black women in white households continues to reinforce social constructions of the household as a feminized and racialised space, while distinct power asymmetries reflect ongoing issues of race, class and gender in contemporary South Africa. This kind of racialised domestic labour arrangement thus represents in some ways the last 'bastion' of apartheid, with the construction of difference shaped by racial prejudice.
Source: Global Media Journal - African Edition 9, pp 156 –190 (2015)More Less
This article explores how major news media and news agencies assigned importance to aspects of the 2011 humanitarian disaster in Somalia. What were the sources that dominated their coverage, and what was the relationship between the sources and the assignment of salience? These issues were investigated through content analyses of online news from Al Jazeera English, Cable News Network International, Pan African News Agency and Reuters. The researchers found different levels of emphasis on news framing functions. The two news agencies, Panapress and Reuters, used similar news framing functions. This suggests that Reuters extended its function of being a news purveyor for news media to a definer of news content for an alternative news agency in a developing nation. Furthermore, the pattern of assigning salience to functions in news framing revealed that because the 2011 famine in Somalia was a humanitarian disaster with catastrophic consequences, the assignment of greater salience to suggestions and to consequences may have been intended to mitigate the disaster itself and prompt urgent action. The distinctions and similarities in assigning functions to news frames may not be unconnected to the functions of ideological structures, editorial policies and in-house style. The study also found a significant relationship between news framing functions and news sources suggesting that news sources played a significant role in assigning salience to the reportage of the humanitarian crisis of the 2011 famine in Somalia.
Media retaliation against the 2015 xenophobic attacks in South Africa - the case of the QFM Radio in ZambiaAuthor Hlazo MkandawireSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 9, pp 191 –216 (2015)More Less
Today's democratic South Africa is figuratively labeled as a "rainbow nation" that embraces and celebrates diversity. However, the country has struggled to deal with socio-economic inequalities based on race and nationality for decades. The recent outbreak of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, mainly immigrants and refugees, is a manifestation of this long existing divide. High unemployment rate, crime and disease have compounded the above situation, and media coverage of immigrants featuring sensationalism inadvertently promotes stereotypes. This paper discusses two actions taken by the QFM Radio in Zambia as acts of media retaliation to protest against the 2015 xenophobic attacks. The first was banning air play of all South African music on its radio station. The second was initiating an anti-xenophobia protest logo that facilitated civic engagement and participation in an effort to stop xenophobia and attract the attention of global media.
Reactions and actions to xenophobia in South Africa - an analysis of The Herald and The Guardian online newspapersSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 9, pp 217 –247 (2015)More Less
The spate of xenophobic attacks that occurred in South Africa first in 2008 and more recently in 2015 has raised questions in relation to causes and possible solutions. These discourses have focused on South African narratives with little contributions on how other African nationals perceive and conceptualize xenophobia. The paper recognizes the power of the mass media in serving as a major source of information for a variety of people in shaping their views and opinions about issues concerning xenophobia. Based on mass media narratives, the concept of a global village becomes more apparent as viewers, listeners and readers were informed of the events even though they were several miles away and in the comfort and safety of their environments. The paper argues that the media did not only inform but also served as a platform through which national and international reactions and actions could be aired and reported. These reactions and actions speak to a perceived identity that bind people along the lines of fundamental and sensitive issues such as religion, gender, rights and race. The Arab Spring protests exemplify the quintessential demonstration of the mobilization, by mass media, of citizens who through reactions and actions united to fight a common course and defend a common identity in the 21st century. The study focuses on the xenophobic attacks in South Africa between April and June 2015. The paper considers xenophobia not from the point of view of South African journalists and citizens but from the narratives of foreign online newspaper reportage. Through content analysis of online versions of The Guardian (based in Nigeria) and The Herald (based in Zimbabwe), the study attempts to understand the role of the media in reporting the reactions and actions as identified in these papers. Key findings of the study suggest that mass media are not only instrumental in stimulating actions and reactions within the selected countries but also in South Africa where the xenophobic attacks took place.
Author Wefwafwa AllanSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 9, pp 248 –267 (2015)More Less
Given the ongoing democratisation and human rights advancement around the globe, including in societies hitherto never thought permeable such as the Muslim world, it is futile for a present day government to use freedom-curtailing means to reign on its subservient: be it media, civil society or the populace. The resilience exhibited by the Kenyan media, albeit amidst blame for occasionally going to bed with government, points at media focused on serving the fast democratising Kenyan society in the wake of ICC heightened charges against top government officials. In 1963, Malcolm X stated that the media are the most powerful entity on earth, and human beings, as renowned writer and critic Wole Soyinka argues, like to dominate others, especially if they are in power and this makes them seek the power of the media to perpetuate their internal inadequacy. While attempting to analyse the love-hate relationship between the Kenyan government and the media, especially on ICC issues, this study seamlessly merges Malcolm X's and Soyinka's opinions above and draws a lesson for both government and media.
Author Katunga Joseph MingaSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 9, pp 268 –297 (2015)More Less
Xenophobia in South Africa still needs more analysis just as the field of violence is still wide open for speculation. The primary focus in the evaluation of the causes of xenophobia is on micro-politics and political discourse while the cultural aspect is most often neglected. As a concept, xenophobia is often explained by reference to present-day social, economic and political crises. The explanation that most of the violence facing millions of Africans results from the demands made on people by globalisation is often accepted without question. Moving away from this thinking and mindful of the fact that people do not live outside culture and history, there is a need to evaluate the effect of history and the recent shift in culture on the cancerous violence that infects the soul of South Africa. It is hoped that drawing on the theory of 'home,' developed by Alfred Schuetz, and with an eye on film a window could be opened on culture for understanding xenophobia within its cultural context. In this discussion, the strategy to curb violence and suggestions to improve media representation of Africa are also tackled.
Author Ibrahim SalehSource: Global Media Journal - African Edition 9, pp 298 –313 (2015)More Less
The recurrent xenophobic cultural environment in South Africa is both bloody and causes political fluidity. It is quite ironic that after twenty-one years of the first elections in South Africa, xenophobic violence against foreign nationals has worsened. Perhaps, such wide-spread xenophobic attacks have exploded since 1994 in provinces such as Gauteng, Western Cape, Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal.
There is a need for some fresh insights on the obvious psychological nature of the prevailing violence in a society that brags being democratic. It is thus important to contextualize some possible explanations behind this endless cycle of hate and violence against foreigners in South Africa. According to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), xenophobia is "the deep dislike of non-nationals by nationals of a recipient state." However, the term also reflects an acute state of hate, racism and violence, the usage of prejudiced discourses that stigmatize people, and the making of negative assumptions leading to grudge, revenge and destruction on the basis of nationality.
This attitude towards foreigners is traced to different reasons. Some attribute it to scarce resources. Some ascribe it to the nature of society itself being destructive and antagonistic for different historical reasons. Some relate it to economic disparity and frustrations. Others find it rooted in the ethnic and racial identity of primordial societies. Still others claim that the locals believe that foreigners are criminals who are granted access to services and police protection, so they need to be pushed away by different types of harm (psychological, physical and killing).
In all cases, South Africa is facing a crisis of image restoration regarding the fact that its locals do not like the presence of refugees, asylum-seekers or foreigners in their communities, and that they will use what it takes to punish them for being on the South African soil.
The present research not only aims to discuss xenophobia as a concept descriptive of a socially observable phenomenon, but also sets out to examine and compare cross-cultural scholarship on negative attitudes toward immigrants. The key issue that this research tackles is possible motivations, causes, and triggers of this violence.