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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Symposium: The Relationship between Journalism and Foreign Aid

School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Legon

February 8, 2018

Call for Papers and Expressions of Interest


Since the end of the Second World War foreign aid has been substantially directed at disseminating a model of journalism practice and education aligned with the interests of donor nations. This one-day symposium will examine the contemporary and complex relationship between aid and journalism and the role of foreign aid/development assistance, along with the impact these processes have had on fostering independent national media sectors. It will bring together academics and practitioners (donors, NGOs, and journalists) to continue an ongoing conversation about issues and problems arising from the intersection between journalism, foreign aid, media development assistance, foreign investment in media, and how this has affected the development of a critical and independent media sector in Africa and Latin America.

Papers with a particular focus on these processes in a West African context or an African context are especially welcome. Papers from the symposium will be reviewed for consideration in one of two special issue journals; see details at ajn.leeds.ac.uk.

This is the last of three public meetings of the Development Assistance and independent journalism in Africa and Latin America: A cross-national and multidisciplinary research network project funded by the (UK) Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Department for International Development (DFID) under the auspices of the Global Challenges Research Fund. The first symposium was held at the University of Leeds, in April 2017. The second was an IAMCR preconference held in July 2017 in Cartagena, Columbia. For further detail and information on our research programme, see ajn.leeds.ac.uk.

Questions for Consideration

We invite papers and presentations that will address (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • What has been the role of international development assistance in shaping journalistic approaches and practices in Africa/Latin America and what are the consequences?
  • What has been the role of development assistance in shaping journalism education in Africa and Latin America?
  • To what extent has international development assistance fostered or inhibited independent journalism in Africa/Latin America?
  • What are the similarities and differences in the direct and indirect impacts on journalism of development assistance from the US, UK and other donors such as China?
  • What are the continuities and discontinuities concerning the impact of development assistance on journalism practice and education in the post-Cold War era?
  • What has been the impact of development assistance as compared with other foreign investment on African/Latin American media?
  • How has international development assistance either directly or indirectly impacted the development of the media industry in Africa?
  • How has international development assistance affecting journalism been perceived by journalists, politicians and the general public in the beneficiary countries?
  • What interventions could be developed to counter any negative consequences of these traditions?

Convenors: Dr. Audrey Gadzekpo, School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana; Dr. Jairo Lugo-Ocando & Dr. Chris Paterson, School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds; Dr. María Soledad Segura, Facultad de Ciencias de la Comunicación, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba; Professor Herman Wasserman, Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Dr. Cosette Castro, Director of the Postgraduate Program in Communication at the Catholic University of Brasilia (UCB). 
Relevant research papers and reports on research in progress are invited for presentation to the symposium and will be considered for publication. 
Please send a 300 word abstract by November 1, 2017 to Gadzekpo and Paterson at audreygadzekpo@gmail.com and c.paterson@leeds.ac.uk
Invitations to attend will be issued by 15 November. There is no registration fee. A limited number of non-presenting delegates may be accommodated with prior registration; please email us to enquire. 
Advice on travel and accommodation will be provided at ajn.leeds.ac.uk in November.

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