A quiet revolution : the moral economies shaping journalists' use of NGO-provided multimedia in mainstream news about Africa.

Wright, Katherine. 2015. A quiet revolution : the moral economies shaping journalists' use of NGO-provided multimedia in mainstream news about Africa.. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

Mainstream news coverage of Africa relies increasingly on material provided by NGOs, who stand to gain in political influence as a result of becoming ever-more media savvy in a digital age. But at a time of widespread cost-cutting in mainstream journalism, is it appropriate for NGOs to ‘make news’ by providing audio, photographs and video to increasingly time and resource-poor journalists or does this diminish what news should be?

Building a body of empirical evidence about why and how journalists use such multimedia and the consequences of this for journalism, NGO-work and those represented, is the central focus of this thesis. Unlike previous research on news coverage of Africa and journalists’ use of NGO-provided multimedia that tends to focus on the coverage of ‘disasters’ or ‘humanitarian emergencies’, this study analyses journalists’ use of NGO-provided multimedia about Africa during a very different news-making period – what journalists call a ‘quiet news week’.

The research involved sixty semi-structured interviews with those whose decisions shaped the production of six media items, which were also subject to qualitative content analysis. These items were about a range of topics and African countries: all of which were published or broadcast in news readily available to British audiences. But why and how journalists used NGO-provided multimedia was shaped most powerfully by the ‘moral economies’ (Sayer 2007) structuring each news outlet.

These moral economies were found to have brought about a ‘quiet revolution’: leading to the emergence of a number of heterogeneous, normatively-laden coalitions between NGOs and news outlets, often hidden from the view of audiences. Consequently, journalists’ use of NGO-provided multimedia was found to have limited progressive potential: for it inhibited collective reasoning by preventing critical scrutiny, as well as systematically excluding the political value of ‘voice’ in ways which further marginalised the disadvantaged and powerless (Sen 2010).

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00011854

Keywords:

Africa, Non-Governmental Organisation, news, journalism, online, media, photography, photojournalism

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies

Date:

30 April 2015

Item ID:

11854

Date Deposited:

25 Jun 2015 10:01

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:11

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/11854

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