Press Freedom, Media Regulation, and Journalists’ Perceptions of their Roles in Society: A Case of Zambia and Ghana

Press Freedom, Media Regulation, and Journalists’ Perceptions of their Roles in Society: A Case of Zambia and Ghana

Twange Kasoma (Radford University, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4197-6.ch007
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Given their unparalleled histories and the dichotomous media regulatory frameworks that Zambia and Ghana have, the two countries make for an interesting pedagogical coupling for examining press freedom and the role of the media in African society. That is what this chapter strives to do. Methodologically, a textual analysis of pertinent documents as well as in-depth interviews with journalists was conducted. Some similarities and distinct differences are noted in the two countries’ media regulatory landscapes. For example, both countries continue to lapse where passage of Freedom of Information legislation is concerned. Ghana, however, exhibits more progress than Zambia. The enabling laws Ghana has instituted in the past decade are telling. Ghana’s progress is also evident in how journalists perceive their role in society in comparison to their Zambian counterparts. The former puts more emphasis on the media’s agenda setting role than the latter.
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Political Overview: 1990S To Date

Civil society—comprising non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civic and lay organizations and the labor movement, among others—was the centripetal force that drove the transition to democracy in 1991 in Zambia and 1992 in Ghana. In Zambia, it was the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) that was responsible for securing Frederick Chiluba—a trade unionist by profession—his presidential win (Buhlungu & Adler, 1997; Rakner, 2003). Prior to the elections, ZCTU had mobilized its members to strike as a last resort in demanding better wages and living conditions. In June 1990 the country was engulfed in nationwide riots, which culminated in a short-lived coup a month later. Some media analysts have argued that the riots provided the last straw for the then president Kenneth Kaunda to heed peoples’ wishes for change. Therefore, on December 4, 1990, Article 4 of the 1973 Constitution, which stipulated that United National Independence Party (UNIP) would be the sole legal party in Zambia, was abrogated, paving the way for multiparty politics. Shortly afterwards, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) was registered and the new party held its seminal national convention in February 1991. It was at this convention that Chiluba emerged as MMD’s presidential candidate, eventually beating Kaunda in the November 1991 elections.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Aziz Douai, Anthony A. Olorunnisola
Chapter 1
Aziz Douai, Anthony A. Olorunnisola
This introductory chapter maps out the trajectory of democratization in Africa and how old and new forms of mass media remain embedded in these... Sample PDF
New Media and the Question of African Democracy
Chapter 2
Bouziane Zaid
A core assumption of much of the literature on media in developing countries is that a more independent press with greater freedom will make a... Sample PDF
Moroccan Media in Democratic Transition
Chapter 3
Terje S. Skjerdal
This chapter discusses recent developments in Ethiopian media governance. The developments point in two directions: Formally speaking, media policy... Sample PDF
Selective Liberalization: An Analysis of Media Reform in an Emerging Democracy
Chapter 4
Heather Gilberds
The adoption of western models of journalism is a hallmark of media democratization movements in post-conflict, transitional or developing nations.... Sample PDF
Articulations and Rearticulations: Antagonisms of Media Reform in Africa
Chapter 5
Timothy W. Kituri
Democracy depends on a free and independent media to survive. As a democratic country, Kenya enjoys a media that is relatively free. This includes... Sample PDF
Fanning the Flames of Fear: A Critical Analysis of Local Language Radio as a Catalyst to the Post Election Violence in Kenya
Chapter 6
Ufuoma Akpojivi
Media freedom is pivotal to the sustenance and consolidation of democracy, as the quality of democracy in any society depends on the level of... Sample PDF
Looking Beyond Elections: An Examination of Media Freedom in the Re-Democratisation of Nigeria
Chapter 7
Twange Kasoma
Given their unparalleled histories and the dichotomous media regulatory frameworks that Zambia and Ghana have, the two countries make for an... Sample PDF
Press Freedom, Media Regulation, and Journalists’ Perceptions of their Roles in Society: A Case of Zambia and Ghana
Chapter 8
Ullamaija Kivikuru
The 1990s brought radical changes to Sub-Saharan Africa. In the rhetoric, the ownership mode appeared as a crucial marker of freedom. However... Sample PDF
When the History Turns Stronger than the Rhetoric: The Journalistic Culture Drives over Democracy Ideals in Namibia and Tanzania
Chapter 9
Brilliant Mhlanga
This chapter focuses on the mediation of cultural pluralism by the South African Broadcasting Corporation’s three ethnic minority radio stations... Sample PDF
Cultural Pluralism and Democratic Ideation- An African Story: The Case Study of SABC’s Three Ethnic Minority Radio Stations
Chapter 10
Irina Turner
The colonization of discourses (Chilton & Schäffner, 2002) is a wide-spread phenomenon of globalization and naturally affects politics. The power of... Sample PDF
The Changing State of the South African Nation: Political Proximity to Business from a Rhetorical Perspective
Chapter 11
Sahar Khamis
This chapter analyzes the role of new media, especially Internet-based communication, in accelerating the process of political transformation and... Sample PDF
Revolution 2.0: New Media and the Transformation of the Egyptian Political and Communication Landscapes
Chapter 12
Aziz Douai, Mohamed Ben Moussa
This chapter reports preliminary findings from a larger investigation of the role of social media and communication technologies in the “Arab... Sample PDF
Twitter Frames: Finding Social Media’s “Influentials” During the “Arab Spring”
Chapter 13
Mohamed Ben Moussa
This chapter explores the role of the Internet in collective action in Morocco, and examines the extent to which the medium has empowered civil... Sample PDF
A Grassroots Approach to the Democratic Role of the Internet in Developing Countries: The Case of Morocco
Chapter 14
Duncan Omanga, Pamela Chepngetich-Omanga
Before the close of 2011, Kenya launched its own local version of a ‘war on terror’ following persistent border incursions by the al-Qaida... Sample PDF
Twitter and Africa’s ‘War on Terror’: News Framing and Convergence in Kenya’s Operation Linda Nchi.1
Chapter 15
Brandie L. Martin, Anthony A. Olorunnisola
Participants in varying but recent citizen-led social movements in Kenya, Iran, Tunisia, and Egypt have found new voices by employing new ICTs. In... Sample PDF
Use of New ICTs as “Liberation” or “Repression” Technologies in Social Movements: The Need to Formulate Appropriate Media Policies
Chapter 16
Auma Churchill Moses Otieno, Lusike Lynete Mukhongo
The youth in Kenya are by far the majority age-group, yet their role in politics is hampered by their inability to access mainstream political... Sample PDF
Social Media and Youth Interest in Politics in Kenya
Chapter 17
R. Bennett Furlow
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Twitter as Virtual Battleground: The Case of HSM Press in Somalia
Chapter 18
Bellarminus Gildas Kakpovi
During the Benin presidential election of March 2011, a new communication tool (Internet) was added to the traditional tools of electoral campaign... Sample PDF
Political Use of Internet During the Benin 2011 Presidential Campaign: Fad Effect or Mid-Term Strategy?
Chapter 19
Oluwabukola Adelaja
The purpose of this chapter is to evaluate the effect and potentials of social media as a tool for social, political, and economic change in Africa.... Sample PDF
The Impact of Social Media on the Social, Political and Economic Environments in Africa
Chapter 20
Anthony A. Olorunnisola, Ayobami Ojebode
As popular movements of citizens of countries in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region progressed, and in their aftermath, pundits in... Sample PDF
Public Opinion on Nigeria’s Democracy: Why the Arab Spring Stopped in the Desert
Chapter 21
Kennedy Javuru
This chapter gives an exploratory overview of the emergence and growth of new media in Uganda and how the alternative nature of new media is... Sample PDF
New Media and the Changing Public Sphere in Uganda: Towards Deliberative Democracy?
Chapter 22
Tendai Chari
Online publications have become critical sites for the expression of views alternative to those of the state. This is true in Zimbabwe as in many... Sample PDF
Rethinking the Democratization Role of Online Media: The Zimbabwean Experience
Chapter 23
Nhamo Anthony Mhiripiri, Bruce Mutsvairo
Social media in its various forms drew international attention to Zimbabwe during the most intense period of the Zimbabwe crisis up to 2008. It is... Sample PDF
Social Media, New ICTs and the Challenges Facing the Zimbabwe Democratic Process
Chapter 24
Anthony A. Olorunnisola
This summative chapter synthesizes a few of the 26 contributors’ solo and interconnected presentations and lays out the ideas and propositions... Sample PDF
Of New Media Influence on Social and Political Change in Africa: Introspects, Retrospectives and Futuristic Challenges
About the Contributors