Conclusion: Comparing Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa
This chapter argues that the framework for comparative research suggested by Hallin and Mancini (Comparing media systems: three models of media and politics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge/New York, 2004) cannot be applied in Africa without modification. This is because the development of media markets and mass circulation press in Europe was a long historical process. It was linked to the development of the printing press and industrial revolution while African countries have a different experience. Therefore, focusing on the development of the media during colonial and post-colonial times will provide a better understanding of the media landscape in Africa. The chapter analyses the nature of the media system in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with examples of regional and racial divides including the domination of newsrooms by journalists from major ethnic groups which has implication on the neutrality of news reporting. Examples are highlighted with the reporting of the J S Tarka and Godwin Dabo’s scandal by the Daily Times and New Nigerian, and the reporting of the certificate forgery scandal of Salisu Buhari in 1999, and the silence of the Nigerian media on the same allegation on Bola Tintubu. The chapter concludes with a call for further research on African media systems devoid of pre-determinded theoretical biases and reliance on Westerncentric media paradigms.
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