Supervisors: Dr Linje Manyozo and Professor Robin Mansell
Research topic: A poverty of imagination: development journalism and donor accountability
How is the recent sea change toward intense connectivity reshaping the way we communicate, and with it, the nature of social and political power? My offers a new perspective on this question by critically examining the relationship between international development projects and the mass media from the vantage point of the southern journalist. With an approach that examines the complex interplay between local, state and international actors, it will contribute to efforts to move beyond a state-centric understanding of mass media, democracy and the public sphere. The study also aims in two ways to unsettle some of the Western assumptions that still undergird theories on the role of media in democracy. First, it will address a dearth of evidence from southern contexts with new empirical research from two African countries. Second, it will rely on collaborative action research, a methodology seldom used in the field of communications, but used effectively in other fields concerned with the interplay between knowledge and power.