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[ecrea] CFP: Media Ownership in Africa: Power, Games & Transition
Sun Jul 16 22:59:51 GMT 2017
Conference organised by the Africa Media Centre
Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), University of
Westminster and the Ghana Institute of Journalism, with support from
Media ownership in Africa is evolving shaped by complex global and
technological pressures. Global, national and local players own print
and electronic media but there are differences across the continent that
are hardly studied. The term media here is used in the converged sense
to include both ‘old’ and ‘new’ platforms, covering mobile phones, games
and emerging spaces on the internet as well as on demand applications
and illegal sites/hacks. Ruling elites tend to monopolize and use the
media to sustain their power but this is increasingly challenged by
groups and individuals outside power, seeking opportunities to
publicize, mobilize against injustices or to just use media in an
everyday practice that might upset/cloud the power structure. The
popular protests in Burundi, Egypt, Ivory coasts, Kenya, Mali, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Tunisia, and other African
countries, indicated that media ownership is directly linked to silence
on key public issues. Thus, the role of global new media players in
Africa invites a rethinking of the relationship of media and power
taking into consideration the modern global trends/froces. In Nigeria,
the 2015 defeat of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan by General
Muhammadu Buhari put bold questions on the role played by media
ownership in transitions. In South Africa, the protests on the legacy of
apartheid, against Cecil Rhodes’s statute and broadly against
maladministration has been enhanced by hashtags such as #RhodesMustFall.
Joined by Zimbabwe’s call for the exhumation and repatriation of Rhodes’
body to the United Kingdom, the protests transcended borders and
official media silences. In Morocco, the domination of all form of media
platforms is constantly challenged by the new media technologies and
publicized hacks forcing the government into a faster democratic
transition. The question about who owns the media in Africa, who has
control or has access to the media, has implications for freedom,
diversity and pluralism in heterogeneous societies and shapes the
continent’s global presence and power relations.
The key questions on media ownership in Africa might include but are not
· How similar and different are media ownership policies in Africa?
· How have policy frameworks shaped media markets/media performance?
· What are the main shifts in media ownership and with what
implications? For example, what is the relationship between media
ownership and democratisation in Africa?
· To what extent have ruling classes used media ownership to
maintain their power?
· To what extent have marginalized groups subverted media ownership
to challenge existing power?
· How is the individual use of new media challenging to media
ownership in African countries (you can focus on one country or compare
· To what extent have state, market and civil society owned media
influenced democratisation? Does government owned/controlled media serve
democracy better than the media owned by other groups in society?
· Is there any kind of positive support to democracy eminent or
overlooked that originates from media owned by the church, business and
local communities, groups and supporters of the democratic project?
· Are there any other forms of communication or media content that
have the potential to lead toward a socialist, humanitarian, or
democratic rule in any of the African countries? Who owns it?
· How transparent are media ownership rules and regulations and
what are the apparent policies adopted by some of the African states?
· What are the linkages between media owners and direct/indirect
forms of censorship?
· To what extent is media ownership influenced by advertising and
other economic factors?
· What rules prevent cross media ownership and concentration? To
what extent, do they also cover online media outlets?
· What are the identified cases of problematic media concentration
· How have new digital realms created new forms of ownership that
contribute to democratization in Africa?
· Are there any common trends/patterns between African countries
from the north to the south regarding media ownership and the process of
democratisation or its absence?
Selected papers are published both in paper and in digital copy on the
EUI Repository webpage.
Abstracts must be submitted by 28th August 2017 to Dr. Loubna El Mkaouar
(elmkaolo /at/ westminster.ac.uk) <http://mailto:(elmkaolo /at/ westminster.ac.uk)/>
Editors: Winston Mano & Loubna El Mkaouar
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