Researching the fluid and multisited appropriations of digital technologies in African newsrooms

Mabweazara, H. M. and Mare, A. (2017) Researching the fluid and multisited appropriations of digital technologies in African newsrooms. In: Tong, J. and Lo, S.-H. (eds.) Digital Technology and Journalism: an International Comparative Perspective. Palgrave Macmillan: Cham, pp. 317-345. ISBN 9783319550251 (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-55026-8_14)

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Abstract

This chapter seeks to shed some light on how researchers can examine the fluid and multisited appropriations of digital technologies in African newsrooms. Taking Zimbabwean and Mozambican newsrooms as research laboratories, the study argues that the deployment of new digital technologies by journalists should be seen as shaped and constrained by local socio-economic and political factors, which equally have a strong bearing on “field” experiences by researchers. Drawing on empirical data from newsrooms that share similarities, differences and contradictions in terms of the diffusion, penetration and general appropriations of new digital technologies, the study attempts to map out the practicalities of researching African journalism practice in the digital era. The chapter demonstrates that traditional research approaches—participant observation, in situ interviews and qualitative analysis of online texts—are still very much relevant to the new media scenario. In deploying these traditional qualitative research methods, the study also shows that the researcher has to be persistently “self-reflexive” and alert to the intuitive and creative inclinations ever present in research contexts in order to capture practices from different angles and positions. While online methods like virtual ethnography and email interviews are increasingly complementing traditional research methods, it is important to note that a hybridised approach offers a more nuanced analysis of social phenomena in multisited contexts.

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:eISBN: 9783319550268. This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by Springer Nature.
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mabweazara, Dr Hayes
Authors: Mabweazara, H. M., and Mare, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN:9783319550251
Published Online:10 October 2017
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