chapter  3
19 Pages

Death of the Gatekeeper: Foreign News Reporting and Public Sphere Participation in Africa: Levi Obijiofor


The role of the media in Africa as an important institution of society is well documented (Banda 2010; Nyamnjoh 2005; Wasserman 2011; Willems 2011). However, several reasons have been adduced for the failure of the African media to serve as important sites for civic deliberation and participatory communication. The reasons include government ownership and control of the media, offi cial censorship, infl uence of advertisers and other market forces, interference with editorial content by media owners and managers as well as the poor fi nancial and infrastructural base on which the media are established (Barber 1987; Edeani 1985; Hachten 1971; Nyamnjoh 2005; Rønning 2005). Willems (2011, 50) also argues that traditional mainstream media in Africa lack credibility because they are associated with the state, the symbol of authority.