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ICTs and radio in Africa: How the uptake of ICT has influenced the newsroom culture among community radio journalists

CGHR associate Claudia Abreu Lopes has co-authored an article with Goretti Linda Nassanga of the Makere University, Uganda and Linje Manyozo of London School of Economics and Political Science, England, which is now published in the Journal of Telematics and Informatics.

This article highlights the influence that new ICTs and Computer Mediated Communication is having on the newsroom cultures among community radio journalists in Africa, especially the use of mobile phones and the internet. The discussion is based on findings from a research study that investigated the impact of ICTs on community radio using regional case studies from three African countries – Mozambique, Uganda, and Mali. We argue that the integration of ICTs impacted journalism practice positively as it improved information gathering, processing, distribution, storage, and engagement with the communities, particularly through the use of mobile phones and the internet. However, the synergy with rural community radios that tend to be located in remote areas is yet to be felt in the three countries. While the community radio stations in semi-urban areas or those situated in areas with fairly good infrastructure have better capacity for integration of ICTs and their sustainability, the rural-based community radio stations are greatly inhibited in their integration of new ICT due to lack of the electricity or regular power supply, the high fees charged by the service providers (internet and telephone), as well as the high cost for the ICT equipment, maintenance expenses and operational costs. The article calls for more support for infrastructural development to rural-based community radio stations to close the rural–urban gap and to enable the journalists working there to benefit from ICT integration like their counterparts in the semi-urban and urban community radios. Article access (gated) here.

Making Slums Governable - Integration and Resistance in a Nairobi Slum

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Published in Journal of Politics and Society, Columbia University, this article is based on the field research by CGHR research assistant Emil Graesholm for his BA dissertation. It explores the new ways in which ICT is adopted by slum residents, NGOs and governments agents, and how the promotion of ICT articulates with the rationality of central and state authority whilst at the same time ICTs are amenable to adaption in the hands of the poor to resist state control. As such, ICT presents a new tool in attempts to make ungovernable urban spaces governable by collecting public information, while also allowing slum residents to resist public authority and form ad hoc solutions to everyday problems. The paper is available for download on the journal website.

Discussion Paper #1: Research Framework (Iginio Gagliardone, Sharath Srinivasan, Florence Brisset-Foucault)

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The paper offers an overview of the research framework developed by CGHR to study the implications of innovations in ICTs on governance in Africa. It first addresses some key ongoing debates among both scholars and practitioners, and then suggests a structured approach to data collection and data analysis. The framework is designed to allow researchers studying the implications of ICTs on political participation, flows of information and the delivery of public good and services, to ground their analysis on a better and localised understanding of the unique features characterising power and politics in Africa.

Report: Media Map Project: "Kenya: Case Study Snapshot of Donor Support to ICTs and Media, 2011"

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The Media Map Project is a two-year pilot research collaboration between Internews and The World Bank Institute. The series of case studies resulting from it addresses questions regarding the impact of donor interventions that support the media in developing countries. This case study, authored by Dr Katharine Allen, Pennsylvania State University, and Dr Gagliardone. provides historical and political context for such donor interventions in Kenya, before examining the range of media uses; the political economy of the Kenyan media, and the legal framework, as well as providing recommendations for donor policy.