Ecquid Novi - latest Issue
Volume 28, Issue 1_2, 2007
Source: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 5 –9 (2007)More Less
Internationally, journalism studies is a burgeoning field. Over the past decade a number of new journals, divisions in scholarly associations, conferences and seminars have attested to the importance of serious reflection on the changing nature of journalism and its place in contemporary society.
Author Herman WassermanSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 9 –10 (2007)More Less
This issue of Ecquid Novi marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. Over the last 28 years, Arnold de Beer, founding editor, has developed the journal into an international publication with recognition from major academic associations worldwide, including the International Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. At the same time, the journal remains rooted in the South African scholarly community through its affiliation to the South African Communication Association (Sacomm). He has now passed the editor's baton, but stays on as managing editor to continue sharing his considerable expertise and wealth of experience. De Beer's leadership in the field has been an inspiration to younger generations of scholars, and this journal will remain part of his academic legacy.
Author Linje ManyozoSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 11 –29 (2007)More Less
Participatory development entails the active engagement of the citizenry in the production, sharing and utilisation of relevant knowledge towards improving their livelihoods. For much of the developing nations, especially in Southern Africa, without access to electricity, telephones, internet and television, radio is the only reliable, affordable, pervasive and extensive avenue for information and knowledge exchange that the majority of poor citizens can afford. Sampling a participatory radio project from Malawi, this paper critiques the depth of radio as a strategy for promoting community participation in development policy formulation and implementation. The paper argues that radio is a reliable tool for strengthening democratic values when employed as a tool for engaging marginalised communities to frame out their development aspirations, as this creates a sense of pride and ownership in development interventions.
Author Linda VenterSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 30 –55 (2007)More Less
There seems to be a general misconception in South Africa about what kind of language should be classified as hate speech and what should be seen as infringement of dignity. The number of hate speech and dignity-related complaints lodged at the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA), but not entertained in Tribunal hearings, highlights the need for information and research in this area. The purpose of the study is to explore and clarify these concepts, the research question being: Which criteria are used by the BCCSA in the consideration of complaints regarding hate speech and infringement of dignity in the media? The textual analysis performed demystified the concepts, revealed the criteria that were used in considering complaints, and enabled the researcher to compile a set of guidelines to assist audience members with formulating complaints (which may contribute to the validity of complaints), and broadcasters with selecting appropriate material for broadcasts.
Author Ibrahim Seaga ShawSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 56 –80 (2007)More Less
"Studying the relationships between news sources, media professionals, the public and government actions within an agenda-setting framework is a demanding task, of course, but one worth pursuing if we are to gain a more complete and holistic understanding of the role of the mass communication in democratic political system" (Weaver, 1987, p. 190). Weaver's argument is examined in the context of the immediate circumstances leading to the historic victory of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa's first elected female president, in the Liberian presidential runoff election in November 2005. It is argued that by framing 'qualification and experience' (Sirleaf's strength) over 'common sense and popularity' (soccer celebrity George Weah's strength), the media played an important role in influencing the presidential vote in favour of the former. It is argued that the public threats issued by Sirleaf's rival, Weah, "to teach journalists a lesson" if he was to be elected president, proved counterproductive for Weah as it only helped to reinforce the framing of his opponent's strengths and exposing his weakness, eventually tipping the balance against him in the runoff after beating his opponent by a wide margin in the first rounds.
Author Dumisani MoyoSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 81 –105 (2007)More Less
Historically, societies living under repressive regimes have always come up with alternative forms of communication as tools of subversion. While underground newspapers and 'pirate radio' have been some of the most common forms, the advent of new communication technologies in recent years has brought new forms of alternative media with greater possibilities for transnational and even wider citizen participation and empowerment. This study starts from the premise that Zimbabwe's restricted democratic space has spawned a multiplicity of alternative public spheres that enable groups and individuals to continue to participate and engage in the wider debate on the mutating crisis gripping the country since the turn of the century. The paper looks at how Zimbabweans in the diaspora are creatively exploiting new media to resist state propaganda churned out through the mainstream media. The study analyses foreign-based news websites on Zimbabwe and seeks to ascertain the nature and extent of their contribution to the ongoing discourse on the Zimbabwe crisis. It looks at the organisational and production aspects of these alternative media, and how these affect their performance as alternative channels of discourse.
Author Lynette SteenveldSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 106 –126 (2007)More Less
This article examines media discourses about the South African Human Rights Commission's (SAHRC) 1999 / 2000 enquiry into racism in the media. The article examines these discourses in the light of the history of the relation between South Africa's ethnic presses and the apartheid state. This history explains, in part, why the two key media discourses about the SAHRC's enquiry into racism in the media focused on the threat to press freedom and the illegitimacy of any form of state intervention into media performance. However, given the history of the media's support for the apartheid state, it is argued that in a vibrant democracy with a constitution that protects freedom of expression and freedom of the press, questioning media performance should be seen as a legitimate part of civil society's participation in maintaining democratic practice. In examining the tension between freedom of expression and the rights to dignity and equality, a critical race theory perspective is offered and it is suggested that this perspective, as well as that of critical legal theory, underpins South African jurisprudential approaches to this tension.
Journalism education as a vehicle for media development in Africa : the AMDI project : special research focus : journalism education in AfricaSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 127 –147 (2007)More Less
This overview is based on data obtained from a wider analysis of the state of media development in Africa - the African Media Development Initiative (AMDI). The analysis draws on a sample of university lecturers and department heads of mass communication, media and journalism studies from across 17 countries to explore key developments in the media sector and the impact of these changes on their field of expertise - journalism training. A key finding is that more must be done by NGOs and donors to gain a stronger understanding of the operational environment, resources and / or work practices prior to engaging in a media development project.
In search of journalism education excellence in Africa : summary of the 2006 Unesco project : special research focus : journalism education in AfricaAuthor Guy BergerSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 149 –155 (2007)More Less
In 2006, Unesco contracted two universities to research African journalism schools, Rhodes University's School of Journalism and Media Studies (RU) and Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Lille (ESJ). The major outcome of the research was intended to be a list of potential Centres of Excellence in African journalism education. However, to reach this point, two preliminary stages were required: first, to map the universe of African schools, and second, to define the criteria and indicators for what would constitute such centres. For the purposes of this overview, focus will be on the mapping part of the project, reporting on some of the issues involved and the significance of this part of the research.
Contextualising journalism education and training in Southern Africa : special research focus : journalism education in AfricaSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 156 –175 (2007)More Less
In this article it is argued that journalism education in Southern Africa must contend with defining a new academic identity for itself, extricating itself from dependency on Western oriented models of journalism education and training, as this has been a perennial challenge in most of Africa.
Institutional and governmental challenges for journalism education in East Africa : special research focus : journalism education in AfricaSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 176 –190 (2007)More Less
Journalism education and training in Eastern Africa has commonly been a result of fragmented initiatives by Western donor organisations, but there is now a growing tendency to formalise programmes in established colleges and universities. The merger of existing journalism programmes, as has happened recently in Ethiopia and Tanzania, is a notable trend. Generally, while a major challenge for journalism in East Africa is fighting institutional and government corruption, as well the regulation of journalism training, an acute challenge for journalism on the Horn of Africa is the insecure situation for journalists due to state actions against the media and consequently also journalism education, even if it is in a more subtle form.
West African journalism education and the quest for professional standards : special research focus : journalism education in AfricaSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 191 –197 (2007)More Less
The rapid growth of the media sector in West Africa over the last ten years has fuelled a major demand for trained journalists and other media practitioners. This demand-supply pull has meant a remarkable expansion in the number of journalism and communications training institutions and programmes in the region. However, many questions of the last decades remain unresolved with respect to the quality as well as rigour of journalism and communications training in the region. As is shown in this brief survey, although there is sensitivity to improving the quality of journalism training in the region, little information is available publicly about how the training programmes are organised, what they offer, the sequencing of curriculum and practical internships, graduation requirements, the numbers and profile of faculty and information about accreditation standards or requirements. It is argued furthermore, there is no meaningful information about the alumni of the programmes, especially regarding their post-graduation job placements.
South African journalism education : working towards the future by looking back : special research focus : journalism education in AfricaSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 198 –206 (2007)More Less
Not unlike elsewhere in the world, journalism studies in South Africa has gathered new impetus after decades of trying to find its niche within the university scholarly and the media industry environments. Since the South African turn to democracy in 1994, journalism and journalism education have experienced profound changes. Technologically, reporting has moved from a position where conventional printed media, radio and television dominated, to a landscape where the internet and satellite technology enabled those with access to the internet to be a 'journalist' of sorts. The political landscape transformed almost beyond recognition, and so did the need for a new approach to journalism education. The authors argue that now, more than a decade after South Africa's socio-political transformation, it has become imperative to consider the scope and significance of the changes that had occurred in the field of journalism and journalism education.
Revisiting the journalism and mass communication curriculum : some experiences from Swaziland : special research focus : journalism education in AfricaAuthor Richard RooneySource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 207 –222 (2007)More Less
This article reports on the changes the University of Swaziland is making to its journalism and mass communications curriculum. It does this in a number of contexts: the challenges facing journalism in the country; debates in the developed world on the correct route for journalism education and the needs for training that have been identified within Swaziland itself. Swaziland is not yet a democracy and the new curriculum is aspirational in that it identifies social justice and the need for journalists to provide a voice for the voiceless as key elements of the programme.
Author Chris PatersonSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 223 –225 (2007)More Less
Media on the move: Global flow and contra-flow provides a timely update to long-standing debates about the global movement of media products from a variety of experienced researchers. As Nordenstreng and Varis (1974) demonstrated over three decades ago, television flow was dramatically imbalanced - a "one-way street", cultural imperialism was real and there was good reason to suspect that only harm could result. Nations with the power to do so implemented cultural protections in response to flow research. Reports of cultures undergoing dramatic and often destructive change were not just anecdotal, as exemplified by Behl's (1988) ethnographic work in rural India.
The media globe : Trends in international mass media, Lee Arts & Yahya R. Kamalipour (eds.) : book reviewAuthor Georgios TerzisSource: Ecquid Novi 28, pp 226 –228 (2007)More Less
This is a book with a mission. A mission to :"describe, predict, and alert our fellow world citizens of the choices we have and choices we need to create." It can be used as a textbook for students of media studies and international affairs, as well as a reference book for scholars in these fields. To fulfill its mission, every chapter is written in simple language with a well-defined structure, making it accessible to the general public.