Mass Media in Sub-Saharan Africa

Mass Media in Sub-Saharan Africa

Louise M. Bourgault
Distribution: World
Publication date: 06/22/1995
Format: Paperback 1 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-20938-2
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A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1996

Mass Media in Sub-Saharan Africa analyzes how historical, political, economic, social, cultural, and stylistic factors have shaped media products in African radio, television, and newspapers. Bourgault investigates three principal influences: the pre-colonial legacy of the oral tradition, the presence of an alienated managerial class, and the domination of African nations by systems based on political patronage. The first two chapters provide the theoretical framework. Subsequent chapters look at the management of the electronic media, radio and television broadcasting in content and practice, the history of print media, and the discourse style found in the press. This work provides a wealth of historical information on media systems, particularly those of the former anglophone and francophone countries, together with recent developments in satellite communication, small-systems technology, and the current move toward decentralization and privatization. Bourgault also considers the political shifts affecting Africa in the 1990s and offers a radical blueprint for more responsive and informative media in the sub-Saharan area.

Author Bio

LOUISE M. BOURGAULT is Professor of Mass Communication at Northern Michigan University, Marquette.

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Table of Contents


1 The Precolonial Legacy
2 The Colonial Legacy
3 Broadcast Management
4 Radio Broadcasting
5 Television Broadcasting
6 Colonial History and Postcolonial Developments of the Press
7 Discourse Style, Oral Tradition, and the Question of Freedom in the Press
8 The Flowering of Democracy and the Press in the 1990s
9 Modernization, Development, and the Communitarian Social Agenda

References Cited