Charting Theoretical Directions for Examining African Journalism in the ‘Digital Era’

Mabweazara, Hayes ORCID logoORCID: (2014) Charting Theoretical Directions for Examining African Journalism in the ‘Digital Era’. Journalism Practice, 9 (1). pp. 106-122. ISSN 1751-2786

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Abstract / Summary

This essay provides a metatheoretical framework for understanding the complexities surrounding African journalism in the era of interactive digital technologies. It argues for the continued relevance of traditional theoretical paradigms, and submits that radical calls to develop new theories as well as to de-Westernise contemporary journalism studies through exclusively deploying ‘home-grown’ concepts such as ubuntuism are not necessarily always viable. Rather, there is more to gain from appropriating traditional theories and identifying possible synergies between the ‘old’, predominantly Western approaches, and the ‘new digital phenomena’, and weaving out of that dialogue, approaches that are not radically different but are in tune with the uniqueness of African experiences. This approach, as the study argues, is particularly important given that journalism (including its appropriation of new technologies) always takes on the form and colouring of the social structure in which it operates. The study thus draws on social constructivist approaches to technology and the sociology of journalism, as well as an array of theoretical concerns from African journalism scholarship to offer a possible direction for a conceptual framework that can help us to capture the complex imbrications between new digital technologies and journalism practice in Africa.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
ISSN: 1751-2786
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Journalism
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > Journalism
Depositing User: Hayes Mabweazara
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2017 11:22
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2020 10:49


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