REPORT: Media and democracy in sub-Saharan Africa

Democracy and press freedom have been natural companions, but the relationship between the two has been closely entwined in sub-Saharan Africa, write Herman Wasserman,  and Nicholas Benequista, both of Centre for Film and Media Studies (CIMA), University of Cape Town.  The report sheds light on how the struggle for vibrant, independent, and plural media systems in … Continued


Picture: Wall Street Journal Corporate Headquarters by John Wisniewski, license CC BY-ND 2.0

ARTICLE: Change of ownership increased political content in the front pages of Wall Street Journal

Relatively more political stories were being promoted after Rupert Murdoch took over the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), a study by Allison M. Archer, of the University of Richmond, and Joshua Clinton, of Vanderbilt University, shows. They examined how ownership influences media behavior by researching the impact of Murdoch’s purchase of the newspaper in August 2007. … Continued


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ARTICLE: Brazilian elites using the Fourth Estate discourse for their own benefit

Studies regarding media and politics in Latin America usually presume that the press naturally protects the interests of common citizens against corruption and political abuses. A new study by Afonso de Albuquerque of Fluminense Federal University, Brazil, looks at this issue from another point-of-view: the cases where the free press is actually conspiring against the … Continued


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REPORT: Fighting impunity is crucial for journalists’ future safety

Making sure attacks against journalists do not go unpunished is “key to long term safety”, a recent report states. The report was published by the NGO International Media Support (IMS), and it details the state of journalists’ protection in seven countries: the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iraq, Nepal, Colombia and Afghanistan. Collaborative efforts between journalists, civil … Continued



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ARTICLE: Institutional constraints cause varying forms of censorship towards critical journalism

Andrew Kennis of Universidad Iberoamericana, México, studied “whether institutional constraints are more powerful than standardized journalistic norms and practices in determining news content”, also looking at news media independence from poweful corporate and state interests in the United States. The author examines the theoretical tension between two models of media analysis – the indexing and … Continued


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ARTICLE: Most Kenyan journalists enjoy a fair amount of journalistic autonomy

Most Kenyan journalists feel they have freedom to decide what to include in news. Kioko Ireri, of United States International University Africa, conducted a survey in 2012-2013 with 504 Kenyan journalists working in various media, asking about news selection decisions, media freedom and autonomy. 59% of respondents believe there is enough media freedom in Kenya. … Continued


ARTICLE: Critical journalism is in deep trouble in China

As soon as Xi Jinping came to power as president of China in 2012, the control over freedom of expression and media was immediately tightened, writes Jingrong Tong, of Brunel University London. For example, all websites, blogs etc. had to apply for and obtain government permission before they could disseminate news information. The study analyses how … Continued


Picture: Pedestrian violence, by Surian Soosay, licence CC BY 2.0. Not related to Maseko's work.

ARTICLE: Art as an alternative form of journalism

The artist Owen Maseko’s 2010 exhibition in Bulawayo gallery in Zimbabwe critiqued the country’s 1980s genocide, during which more than 20 000 people were killed. The exhibition was banned immediately and Maseko arrested. No formal acknowledgement of the genocide has been made. A research article by Shepherd Mpofu, of the University of Johannesburg, looks at how … Continued


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ARTICLE: Reconstructing Rwanda through journalism

Since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the country’s media landscape has changed dramatically. Karen McIntyre, of Virginia Commonwealth University and Meghan Sobel, of Regis University used qualitative interviews to figure out how Rwandan journalists view their roles today and whether they have contributed to the reconstruction and recovery of the country by practicing constructive journalism. Constructive … Continued