Charting theoretical directions for examining African journalism in the “digital era”

Mabweazara, H. M. (2015) Charting theoretical directions for examining African journalism in the “digital era”. Journalism Practice, 9(1), pp. 106-122. (doi:10.1080/17512786.2014.928469)

Mabweazara, H. M. (2015) Charting theoretical directions for examining African journalism in the “digital era”. Journalism Practice, 9(1), pp. 106-122. (doi:10.1080/17512786.2014.928469)

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Abstract

This essay provides a metatheoretical framework for understanding the complexities surrounding African journalism in the era of interactive digital technologies. It argues for the continued relevance of traditional theoretical paradigms, and submits that radical calls to develop new theories as well as to de-Westernise contemporary journalism studies through exclusively deploying “home-grown” concepts such as ubuntuism are not necessarily always viable. Rather, there is more to gain from appropriating traditional theories and identifying possible synergies between the “old”, predominantly Western approaches, and the “new digital phenomena”, and weaving out of that dialogue, approaches that are not radically different but are in tune with the uniqueness of African experiences. This approach, as the study argues, is particularly important given that journalism (including its appropriation of new technologies) always takes on the form and colouring of the social structure in which it operates. The study thus draws on social constructivist approaches to technology and the sociology of journalism, as well as an array of theoretical concerns from African journalism scholarship to offer a possible direction for a conceptual framework that can help us to capture the complex imbrications between new digital technologies and journalism practice in Africa.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mabweazara, Dr Hayes
Authors: Mabweazara, H. M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journalism Practice
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1751-2786
ISSN (Online):1751-2794
Published Online:18 July 2014

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