Archive for 2019

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[Commlist] Journal of African Media Studies 10.3 published

Mon Jan 14 12:50:48 GMT 2019

Intellect is pleased to announce that the Journal of African Media Studies 10.3 is now available!

For more information about the issue, click here >>,id=3684/


*African cinema on demand? The politics of online distribution and the case of the African Film Library*
Authors: Alexander Fisher

This article considers the impact of online distribution on the long-term availability and preservation of African cinema. It examines the case of Electronic Media Network’s (M-Net) African Film Library (AFL), a video-on-demand (VOD) library of classic African films that was launched in 2012, but taken offline by 2013. The article argues that this short-lived project represents a pivotal moment in the way we think about African film archiving and distribution, in which new technologies and consequently disintermediated business models promised to facilitate the circulation of African films in a manner that was socially beneficial, but which in reality resulted in monopolistic control of the content that presented a serious threat to its long-term preservation. The article goes on to argue that the AFL case encapsulates the entire discourse surrounding the shift to online distribution, in which a ‘cybertopian’ narrative of a disintermediated and thus democratized film culture quickly gives way to a reality in which content is more tightly controlled by an increasingly narrow and powerful set of private stakeholders, ultimately threatening the preservation of any content that is vulnerable to the shifting demands of the market.

* ‘The big brother we appreciate’ or a ‘mafioso’? The emergence of stereotypes concerning China and the Chinese in Angola*
Authors: Jaroslaw Jura And Kaja Kaluzynska And Paulo De Carvalho

This article aims to analyse the process of emergence of China-related stereotypes in Angola, which have started to appear with an increasing number of Angolans establishing direct and non-direct contacts with the Chinese. The article investigates this issue based on the content of China-related articles and netizens’ opinions published online from 2010 to 2015 in Angolan media (altogether 5005 cases) supplemented with coded results of 61 in-depth interviews. The results of qualitative and quantitative analysis suggest that the general image of the Chinese held by Angolans is rather positive. However, the influx of Chinese migrants into this country and a relatively high number of problematic situations involving members of the Chinese diaspora have resulted in gradual worsening of the image of this specific group. Such problematic issues include the low quality of engineering projects, maltreatment of Angolan workers and a possibility of Chinese neo-colonization of Angola.

*Discourses of power and counter-power in the Zimbabwean politico-religious communication in online news media*
Authors: Nyasha Mapuweyi And Janina Wozniak

Christianity as the predominant religion in Zimbabwe consists of several faith groupings, each of which responds to public events through the mass media. Mainline churches uphold a conventional human rights approach to faith-based political criticism, while Mapostori or Apostolic churches follow an Africanist form of faith and appear to condone some alignment with the authoritarian ruling party. In the sampled media coverage of three online newspapers, the political use of religious strategies or practices from various faith groups by the president and high-ranking party functionaries is reported from either the former government-sanctioned view or an oppositional stance. Moralist reprimand is levied at various politicians from a religious rationale, assuming good and evil, church and state, Christianity and African spirituality, which, however, remain abstract since there is no overall faith-based guidance for political behaviour beyond a secular constitution that still appears utopian. The critical discourse analysis suggests that complex relationships exist among the various faiths, causing diverse religious interpretations of political events. This suspension of Cartesian thinking results in a continuing circular logic of blame and prayer, disaster and prophesy instead of the use of constitutional democratic institutions to hold politicians accountable. Such logic seems sustained by politicized interpretations of spiritual entities, spiritual interpretations of political events and by the perceptions of the Zimbabwean public, who, as believers of one or other faith, is equally at the mercy of opportunistic ‘prophets’ from many denominations as it is targeted by the political powers of the day.

*ISolezwe’s coverage of the May 2008 xenophobic riots: An irresolute start and an ambivalent end*
Authors: Simphiwe Ngwane

Each language has a multiplicity of registers and the media rely on these ‘differentiators’ to convey news to designated audiences, who will imbibe the news with the intended meaning. IsiZulu is one of South Africa’s Lingua francas and has two successful news publications, iLanga and iSolezwe, both written in isiZulu but vastly different in how they convey, craft and package news. This article aims to examine how iSolezwe, an isiZulu-language tabloid, used two editorials to shape its stance on the May 2008 xenophobic riots. Through the editorials agenda-setting execution, we are able to analyse the tabloids ideology; even when the news reports, and photo-journalistic pieces offered ‘impartially full’ accounts, but, metaphors stray from headline to headline, photographs that are meaningless in themselves become significant when juxtaposed to a piece of text (Fowler 1991: 225). Anton Harber in examining the xenophobic coverage in the print media asked the question, ‘what is it we want from our media at a time of ugly anti-social violence?’ (2008: 161). ISolezwe’s coverage began with ambivalence, exhibiting sympathy towards the frustrated South African perpetrators, but was shocked at the level of violence. The news reports were more ‘balanced’ in their coverage, without assuming a position in contrast to the editorials. Examining the entire coverage, a theme is evident, from ambivalent editorials, to news reports that were more balanced. The second editorial dovetailed from the then president of the African National Congress (ANC) Jacob Zuma’s condemnation of the violence but the tabloid did not condemn the xenophobic riots outright, and its reporting ends with a repatriation theme and the tabloid never explored notions of integration.

*The story of a cultural seed sown in Addis Ababa: The Ethiopian International Film Festival (ETHIOFFEST)*
Authors: Yirgashewa Teshome

This visual essay is the story of the Ethiopian International Film Festival (ETHIOFFEST); Addis Ababa’s cultural scene founded a decade ago to create the desire and vision of what a film festival can mean to the future of the creative community in Ethiopia. It is the story of how the ETHIOFFEST, in a country where the concept has never been known, became an annual cultural event pitched against all odds. The visual essay overviews a decade-long journey of the festival from its inception to date that mainly focuses on its establishment and challenges, as well as contributions to film culture in and about Ethiopia. This could be a primary resource for those who are interested in Ethiopian film activity as it is presented by the founding director of the festival.

*Film Review*
Authors: Ernest Samuel And Gloria Chimeziem

Stephanie Linus’s ‘Dry’: A case of humanities in medical education or a foray into medical humanities?

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