African Journalism Cultures: The Struggle of Free Expression Against Neo-Patrimonial Governance

Mabweazara, Hayes ORCID logoORCID: and White, Robert (2018) African Journalism Cultures: The Struggle of Free Expression Against Neo-Patrimonial Governance. In: Newsmaking Cultures in Africa: Normative Trends in the Dynamics of Socio-Political & Economic Struggles. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 51-74. ISBN 978-1-137-54108-6

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Abstract / Summary

Since the colonial times journalists in Africa have developed a relatively common set of values underpinned by Western values of presenting news (in a detached, transparent and supposedly objective ways) that enables citizens to exercise their citizenship and democratic rights. This commitment to objective factual news inevitably ignites a constant clash with entrenched personalistic and neo-patrimonial governance systems that, on the surface, pretend to protect citizens’ constitutional and democratic rights but in reality, seek to strengthen the concentration of political power and economic wealth in the hands of the ruling elite. Thus, in the context of authoritarian pressures and poverty, journalists in Africa are often personally conflicted and inconsistent in their journalistic commitments. However, sections of the profession, especially the privately-owned press, have developed ways to unmask the strategies of the political elites in efforts directed towards safeguarding democratic rights. In the light of this context, this chapter analyses a range of typical practices that these critical journalists use to expose the falsity of the democratic pretentions of the ‘big man’ rule by introducing alternative discourses of human rights, freedom of information, civil society, rule of law and public participation in national decisions.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 978-1-137-54108-6
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Journalism
Communication > Media
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > Journalism
Depositing User: Hayes Mabweazara
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2018 10:55
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:29


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