Theorising the media-democracy relationship in African conditions
A paper submitted for possible publication in the journal Gazette.
      by Guy Berger, Nov 2000

Theories of media and democracy, entailing concepts like the "public sphere" and "civil society", have been extensively used in Western societies. In contrast, analysis of the role of Africa's media in democratisation has been patchy and lacking in theoretical foundation. By extensively re-working some of the theorisation that is born of societies with rather different media conditions to Africa, some useful insights can be gained about the processes on this continent, particularly in Southern Africa. In particular, such re-engineered theory can help provide an analysis of contemporary issues regarding media freedom, the growth of private media, the contests around government-controlled media, and the deregulation of broadcasting in Africa. In addition, such re-worked theory helps contextualise the gender character of Africa's media and the significance of the Internet for democracy on the continent.               


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