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[ecrea] 'African Journalism Studies' Special Issue Call for Abstracts - "Fake News, Bots and Cyber-Propaganda in Africa"

Tue May 01 13:02:08 GMT 2018

*Call for Abstracts: /Fake News, Bots and Cyber-Propaganda in Africa/*


*/African Journalism Studies /**(AJS)’s ‘African Digital Media Review’ (ADMR) (/Issue/ /No: 5/)*


/African Digital Media Review /(ADMR), a Special Annual Issue of /African Journalism Studies/ (AJS)invites submissions of abstracts(maximum 300 words) for its fifth issue, whose focus is on ‘fake news, bots and cyber-propaganda in Africa’. Fake news encapsulates stories that are generally false, but have enormous popular appeal and are shared far and wide. This includes hoaxes, propaganda and disinformation purporting to be real news—often circulated online to drive web traffic and amplify their effect. Some of the fake news are completely false information that is created for financial and political gains. While ‘fake news’ is not entirely a new phenomenon, its corrosive effect on electoral politics, democratic processes and general trust in mainstream media and the potential nurturing of an uninformed and misinformed citizenry presents huge challenges for contemporary African countries. The internet and its associated digital media have turned an age-old problem into a new threat.

‘Fake news’ has also found its way into the mainstream media largely through journalists’ overreliance on online sourcing practices and cultures. In some African countries, politicians have also used the discourse of fake news to delegitimize the so-called independent mainstream media. There, however, remains a gap in the theorisation and empirical examination of the production and consumption of fake news and cyber-propaganda in Africa. Cyber-propaganda refers to the spread of misinformation and manipulating of public opinion through digital media technologies. Equally lacking are studies which examine how ‘fake news’ and cyber-propaganda are produced in different political contexts, how they are consumed by demographically diverse populations, as well as how these phenomena are harnessed by politicians for ‘manufacturing consent’ and generating necessary illusions.  Besides the use of digital media technologies, bots (which are software applications that run automated tasks over the Internet) have been used to circulate fake news, disinformation and propaganda in many countries in the recent past.

We welcome submissions that use a wide range of evidence and theory to engage with the phenomena of ‘fake news’ and cyber-propaganda in Africa.  We are also interested in research papers that draw on ethnographic accounts of the production and consumption of ‘fake news’ and cyber propaganda.  Audience studies of fake news and cyber propaganda are also encouraged, bearing in mind that human beings have agency to engage in aberrant, negotiated, oppositional and dominant readings of ‘fake news’ and cyber propaganda.

Topics to be covered may include, but should by no means be restricted to the following issues:

  * Theoretical and methodological issues in studying ‘fake news’ and
    cyber propaganda in Africa
  * The production and dissemination of ‘fake news’ and cyber propaganda
    in Africa
  * The consumption of ‘fake news’ and cyber propaganda in Africa
  * Fake news and trust in mainstream media
  * Fake news and the business/corporate sector
  * Fact checking organisations and fake news in Africa
  * Manifestations of fake news on digital media in Africa
  * Use of bots to spread fake news and cyber propaganda
  * How mainstream media organizations are fighting against fake news
  * The implications of fake news for political and democratic processes
    in Africa

Prospective authors should submit an abstract of approximately 300 words by email to the Guest Editors: *Admire Mare*, Namibia University of Science and Technology (*(amare /at/*), *Hayes Mabweazara*, Falmouth University, UK (*(hayes.mabweazara /at/*) and *Dumisani Moyo*, University of Johannesburg, South Africa (*(dumisanim /at/ <mailto:(dumisanim /at/>*).

All abstracts will be reviewed by the editors and successful authors will be invited to submit a full manuscript via the /African Journalism Studies/ ‘*ScholarOne Manuscripts* <>*’*site where they will undergo peer review. The invitation to submita full article doesnotguaranteeacceptance of the final paper into the special issue.


Deadline for abstracts: *27 July 2018*

Notification on submitted abstracts: *10 August 2018*

Deadline for completed papers: *30 January 2019*

Final revised papers due: *28 April 2019*

Accepted articles will be published Online First with the complete special issue coming out in November 2019.

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