Reflections on the Media in Africa: Strangers in a Mirror?

Goretti Linda Nassanga

in Media and Identity in Africa

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780748635221
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653010 | DOI:
Reflections on the Media in Africa: Strangers in a Mirror?

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In a typical African village, people were expected to know one another and they received information from all corners of the village, such that each member of the community felt part of the communication process and could identify with what was being communicated. Ideally, media should act as a mirror to reflect in structure and content the various social, economic and cultural realities in which the societies and communities operate. However, the problems of imbalances in communication that the MacBride Commission tried to address in the 1970s are still evident to date. Looking at the media in Africa, can the majority of Africans easily identify with most media content, or do they simply see forms of strangers reflected in the mirror? The discussion in this chapter is premised on theory of political economy and how this has influenced African media. It explores different perspectives related to globalisation and information dualism, which contribute to the distorted images that give the reflection of strangers in a mirror.

Keywords: communication; African media; political economy; globalisation; information dualism

Chapter.  5664 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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