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.