Lec 12 - Media and Democratization in Africa

Lec 12 - Media and Democratization in Africa - Media and...

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Media and Democratization in Africa Uses, Abuses and Institutionalization
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Africa and the Press: Background Formal media liberalization was part of the “third wave” of democratization that took place across the continent during the 1990s. Economic problems often give impetus to domestic opposition and crises provide opportunity for international aid to lend pressure to reform. Press freedom was also promoted by international organizations such as the UN. In 1991 a UNESCO conference passed the “Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press.” Other international lending agencies such as the World Bank and IMF have promoted press freedom as part of the “conditionalities” of their aid packages.
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Background Press freedom has gradually expanded, although the process has been contested. In 1990 86% of sub- saharan African countries were “not free”; 7% “party free” and 7% “free.” In 2008, those numbers were 48%, 37% and 15% respectively. Independent media, and radio in particular, has slowly emerged. For example in the 15 member Economic Community of West African states, Guniea is the only one that does not permit private ownership of broadcasting. Despite this progress there are still substantial obstacles to the consolidation of a democratic media. What are these?
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2010 for the course PSCI 0413 taught by Professor Lewis during the Winter '10 term at Middlebury.

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Lec 12 - Media and Democratization in Africa - Media and...

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