Hot Topic - Media in Africa
Developing a strong media sector in transitional regions seizes the opportunities of good business, employment and hot technology. And everybody likes good news. Media people need to cooperate, say government officials, and keep everything pretty. Jail is the obvious option.
Governments have been resplendent in their commitments to press and media freedom. Dimming that light are national security issues, particularly embarrassing leaks. Balancing both can be difficult. And it can happen anywhere.
More and more, elections are being monitored by international organizations for more than polling practices. Campaigns and media coverage is under scrutiny. As new media technology takes an increasingly important role in political campaigns election observers must look beyond traditional messages.
By all appearances foreign investment in local publishers and broadcasters is waning. Sometimes it is the result of change in corporate strategy to “concentrate on core assets.” Sometimes foreign owners are invited to leave once development investment has been spent. It is an interesting cycle.
Calls to replace old media structures resound, far and wide, with popular surges toward democracy. The Arab Spring has been but the latest. The idealism of newly empowered citizens quite naturally seeks voice, some of which was found in new media and quickly. Traditional media is more difficult to turn.
There are places where media carries the weight of life and survival, far more than celebrity gossip and playing the hits. Those who pursue this mission see, hear and feel the difference. It’s not something that can be valued simply in terms of money. That’s what makes it so difficult.
Media development in conflict and post-conflict zones requires a certain expertise. A talent for adaptation is essential. Being there is important, too. And development agencies and NGOs are always looking for experience.
See also in ftm Knowledge
Media in Africa - Growing Pains
Africa's media has a dynamic all its own. Its newspapers, television, radio and advertising are world-class. New media is taking hold. At the same time, some governments seek blinding repression. This ftm Knowledge file looks at the great and not-so-great. Includes Resources 82 pages PDF (July 2012)
Media Development - Emerging Markets / Converging Platforms
Media development in emerging and transitional democracies has never been more important and never more challenging. With everything else, new media and the web are both opportunities and complications. The ftm Knowledge file reviews the changes. 54 pages PDF (March 2011)
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The Campaign Is On - Elections and Media – new
Elections campaigns are big media events. Candidates and issues are presented, analyzed and criticized in broadcast and print. Media is now more of a participant in elections than ever. This ftm Knowledge file reports on news coverage, advertising, endorsements and their effect on democracy at work. 84 pages. PDF (September 2017)
Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda
The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)
In the media sphere nothing is more important than knowing the audience. Once in a generation a target group evolves to catch the attention of publishers and broadcasters, advertisers and media buyers, social critics and politicians. The Millennials, also known as Generation Y and digital natives, are it, with unique characteristics and behaviors. They have already reshaped everything we do. 35 pages, PDF (December 2016)
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