RESEARCH REPORT VOICES OF THE SOUTH IN THE MEDIA

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1 RESEARCH REPORT VOICES OF THE SOUTH IN THE MEDIA!

2 RESEARCH REPORT VOICES OF THE SOUTH IN THE MEDIA 1

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Methodology 2.1 Literature Review 2.2 Interviews 2.3 Media Analysis 2.4 Reflection and Accountability 3. International development journalism 3.1 Journalism and Media 3.2 Development in Journalism 4. The global media landscape 4.1 The Dutch Media Landscape Popular Themes in Media 4.2 The Southern Media Landscape Analysis Local Media 4.3 Types of media in the South Radio and Television Written Press Internet and Social Media Mobile Phones Networked Journalism 5. Analysis by country 5.1 Burkina Faso 5.2 Uganda 5.3 Senegal 5.4 Sudan and South Sudan 5.5 Tanzania 5.6 Zimbabwe 6. Challenges and opportunities 6.1 Impediments for African journalists Economic (Un)certainty Conflict Situations 2

4 6.1.3 Censorship Safety Lack of Knowledge Technology and Logistics Poor quality of Journalism Education Poor Image of Journalists 6.2 Impediments for Dutch Media Experiences Current Report Experiences Photography Project Vice Versa Conclusion 6.3 Opportunities for International Development Journalism Using Local Knowledge Form and Content of Stories Education and Training Innovative Media Use Financial Sustainability 6.4 Examples from the Field 7. Conclusion and Recommendations 7.1 The Challenges of International Development Journalism The Dutch Media Landscape The Media Landscape in the South 7.2 Opportunities in International Development Journalism 7.3 Recommendations Sustainable and Innovative Partnerships Developing or Promoting High Quality journalism Education Considering Differences between Countries 8. Bibliography 9. Appendix 9.1 Table of Respondents 9.2 Mapping of Organizations Organizations in the Netherlands Organizations in the West Organizations in the South 9.3 Schematic Summary of Challenge and Opportunities 3

5 1. INTRODUCTION Global themes such as international cooperation, climate and trade do not often feature in Western media and when they do, they are rarely viewed from a Southern perspective. This is partly because there are not many journalists who are specialised in international development journalism. Despite the fact that, in general, a large proportion of the financial flows in developing countries stems from international donors, scrutinizing these financial flows has not been a salient part of local journalism. Reporting this could lead to a strengthening of a country's civil society by increasing transparency and informing the population and it could ultimately lead to the construction and strengthening of democracy. In addition many media outlets focus on international news for which, in most cases, large, international news agencies are used rather than local sources. Western journalists and correspondents are often used for Western media coverage of these local events and a Southern voice to interpret the news is often missing. This under-representation of the Southern perspective can result in the global news being misrepresented in the Western media and in locally generated news not reaching the population, which makes it impossible to strengthen civil society. Based on this conclusion, in 2009 Oxfam Novib and Lokaalmondiaal developed the project plan Voices of the South in the Media with the aim to contribute to the strengthening of international development journalism in the South. 1 This is a two-fold objective, which encompasses creating a platform for local journalists from the South to write reports about this as well as stimulating journalists to share their knowledge and report about development cooperation in Western media. In this way, the project aims to contribute to the construction and strengthening of civil society and the generation of more information about development processes. The establishment of (sustainable) partnerships with national and international media and news organizations will create more opportunities for journalists to publish their work (about development topics) in their own country and abroad, and will create a permanent market. In this way people worldwide will be informed by means of photo stories, articles, television and radio broadcasts and multimedia productions. The research that is presented here was conducted in 2011 and 2012 and should be read as a first step towards scientifically conceptualising the above project plans as well as testing the feasibility of the plans. The purpose of this (feasibility) research is to answer the following question: What challenges need to be taken into account when creating a new international project about international development journalism and what opportunities will arise? In order to be able to answer this question it is important to relate the added value of the Southern perspective in the media to both the media landscape and journalistic traditions of the South, as well as to those of the Netherlands. It is also important to consider the needs of various media as regards the publication of articles about development cooperation, both in the West and the South. This is also relevant with regard to potential partnerships. In order to do this it was important to analyse the cooperation process with Southern partners and the challenges and opportunities arising from this process. Another crucial part of the investigation is to see what projects have already been carried out with the same subject matter, which lessons can be drawn from these and what "the Voices of the South in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Unless otherwise specified the term "the South" in this report refers to developing countries in Africa. 4

6 the Media project" can add. With these new insights the theory of change can be strengthened and improved and a new project plan can be devised and used as a base for applying for specific grants and other financial resources. The report consists of nine parts: after the introduction, first the methodology of the report is discussed in which the research methods are described and choices that were made are clarified. Then, the theoretical framework of the research is described in the chapter international development journalism. Subsequently, the media landscape is analysed in chapter four wherein the media landscape in the Netherlands is compared with the media landscape in Africa by means of qualitative data, after which a number of case studies of African countries will follow in order to analyse the differences and similarities. The fifth chapter is the core of the report and is about the challenges and opportunities that arise from international development journalism in the South and from the collaboration between Dutch media and Southern journalists. For this analysis, academic sources as well as data from Dutch and African respondents, has been used. The sixth chapter formulates an answer to the main question that is formulated above on the basis of this analysis. This answer is then combined with a needs assessment that describes the needs of both African and Dutch journalists and the media concerning international development journalism. Finally, these findings will be summarized in a number of specific recommendations that are aimed at giving the Southern voice a more prominent role in international development journalism. The appendix can be found at the back of this report. 5

7 2. METHODOLOGY In order to formulate an answer to the questions posed above it is important to gain a clear overview of the available information and the different perspectives on this theme. For this purpose, three methods have been used. First, the literature has been studied extensively to gain insight, from an academic perspective, into the media landscape and the various factors that might influence the changes in this landscape. The second research method made use of qualitative in-depth interviews with respondents from both the Netherlands and the South. Finally, the choice was made to carry out a media analysis of both contexts - the Netherlands and Africa. In this chapter the above points are described in detail. 2.1 LITERATURE REVIEW In the period from December 2011 to February 2012 the available literature was studied extensively in order to both determine the theoretical framework of the research as well as to find concrete information in relation to the African media landscape, in particular that of the countries discussed in this report. For this puprose, databases from different media were used. Search commands were done using the following keywords: Africa / Development / International development journalism / Media / Journalism / Journalists / Press / Democracy / Sudan / Uganda / Zimbabwe / Senegal / Egypt / Writers / News / Newspapers / Radio / Mobile / Internet / Television etc. Newspaper databank LexisNexis was used to search for articles with the combinations: Africa, media, journalism, democracy and international development journalism. The articles were subsequently analysed for the following elements: African media landscape, African journalism, international development journalism, types of international development journalism and implementation of international development journalism. A comprehensive list of references has been included in chapter INTERVIEWS Using the results from the literature review we carried out a qualitative empirical study. In the period of February to March 2012, 48 interviews were conducted in total of which 24 took place in the Netherlands and 24 in the South. The subject of the interviews was the media landscape in the country of the interviewed and the aim was to find out what challenges and opportunities a follow-up project might entail. The questions that were asked during the semi-structured interviews had been drawn up following the literature review. The transcribed interviews were analysed using processing algorithms, which clarified patterns in the data. In the Netherlands, 24 interviews were conducted with journalists; Africa and media specialists; and project coordinators of media organizations specializing in media topics related to development. These interviews were largely conducted on location in the Netherlands, though a small number were conducted by telephone. For the interviews in the South, an assignment was circulated amongst a number of journalists from the countries selected for this investigation: Egypt, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Senegal, Sudan and Zimbabwe. The journalists who responded first got the assignment. Full completion of the assignment earned them!400. The journalists were given the assignment to interview a number of journalists in their own country. For this purpose, they were sent questionnaires. In addition, one of the report's authors interviewed a number of local journalists in Tanzania. In total, 24 interviews were conducted with African journalists in Africa. A list of the people interviewed for this report can be found in the appendix (9.1). 6

8 2.3 MEDIA ANALYSIS Both in the South and in The Netherlands the written media was analysed for 'international development journalism' during the period ranging from 1 December 2011 to 25 January In the Netherlands the 'big media' were used for the analysis; newspapers and magazines with a minimum circulation of 20,000. The selection consisted of the following newspapers and magazines: NRC Handelsblad, nrc.next, de Volkskrant, Trouw, Nederlands Dagblad, Reformatorisch Dagblad, Financieele Dagblad, de Telegraaf, Spits, de Pers and Metro and interest magazines Elsevier and de Groene Amsterdammer (other interest magazines were viewed, but yielded no results). Through the media archive LexisNexis a total of 84 newspaper articles and 5 magazine articles were selected on the themes: 'development', 'international development journalism', 'development work', 'development sector', 'development cooperation', 'poverty' and 'Africa'. These articles were then coded for the following words: -Poverty, -Foreign affairs journalism, -Conflict, -Corruption, -Crisis, - Crime, -Democracy, -Donations, -Economy, -Birth Control, -(Ethnic/Terrorist) Violence, -Health Care, -Hiv/aids, -Hunger, -Youth, - (Post/Neo)Colonialism, -Criticism (on DC), -Art and Culture, -Human Rights, -Nature, -Education, -Inequality, -Development, -DC, - Press(freedom), -Piracy - (World) Politics, -Racism, -Religion, -Sport, -Water, -Unemployment. Table 1 gives a schematic overview of the use of this terminology in Dutch media. Medium Number de Volkskrant 27 NRC Handelsblad 14 Trouw 11 Table 1 Overview of articles in the Dutch media related to development Financieele Dagblad 8 Reformatorisch Dagblad 8 Nederlands Dagblad 7 nrc.next 5 Spits 2 de Pers 1 de Telegraaf 1 de Groene Amsterdammer 3 Elsevier 2 Total 89 7

9 Medium Number New Vision 15 Daily Monitor 22 Al-Sahafa 2 Al-Ra'y Al-aam 1 Sidwaya 21 L'Observateur 23 Total 106 In the South, the selected journalists analysed various media for a week. As a result the following newspapers have been analysed; New Vision (Uganda), Daily Monitor (Uganda), Al- Sahafa (Sudan) and Al-Ra'y Al-aam (Sudan), Sidewaya (Burkina Faso), L'Observateur (Burkina Faso). 106 newspaper articles were coded in total. The distribution of these articles per media source is shown in Table 2. Table 2. Overview of international development journalism in the Dutch media 2.4 REFLECTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY A number of choices were made during the making of this report and several factors have had an impact on the final outcome of the research. In order to give a realistic picture and to put the research in perspective it is important to reflect on the research process, to disclose these factors so that a judgement can be made about the extent to which these have influenced the data presented below. The first point of reflection concerns the choice of countries. Although the report presents an analysis of journalism in and about developing countries, it was decided to include only a limited number of African countries in the country analysis. Although the conclusions drawn from the analyses of these countries cannot be generalized as being true for the whole of Africa or for developing countries in general, the results do give an insight into patterns in international development journalism and offer a closer look at the media landscape of the South. In regard to the literature, it was found that there have been few publications with a specific focus on international development journalism. When selecting Dutch journalists, a choice was made on the basis of the added value of the respondents concerning this theme in the media. The Southern journalists were more difficult to reach and to select. Communication difficulties with some journalists resulted in some cases in a failure to meet deadlines and agreements. For example, three journalists from Senegal, Egypt and Zimbabwe did not hand in their assignments before the deadline, which is why no data from these countries has been obtained. The material that has been collected by the journalists was also difficult to analyse, since this data was not obtained first hand. Finally, the short time span of the investigation may have influenced the final data. Certain subjects that affected the news in this period make it difficult to generalize about media coverage of global themes. Nevertheless, we are confident that the data presented in the report is a good reflection of the general patterns in international development journalism and that this data is relevant to the investigation. 8

10 3. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT JOURNALISM In this chapter, the theoretical framework of the research is explained, the concept of international development journalism is deconstructed and the various components of journalism, media and development cooperation are related to one another. This is the basis for further analysis in the research report. 3.1 JOURNALISM AND MEDIA In this investigation 'journalism' is defined as collecting, checking, reporting, and analysing the news. New or current data from, for example, political, economic and security issues is collected, edited and published on a regular basis for a general or specific audience. 'Media' is the umbrella term for the way in which journalistic productions are distributed. This is possible through newspapers, radio, television, internet, blogs, photo stories, films, documentaries or a combination of these in multimedia and cross-media productions. Media and journalism also fulfil a political function in society and are often seen as the fourth power in a democratic state, in addition to the legislative, executive and judicial powers (trias politica), that operate independently from each other (Becker and Resende 2010). The media's ability to inform civil society is also mentioned often in this context. Opinions are divided when it comes to the exact role of journalism and the media in the establishment and the quality of democracy. For example, Dixon (1997) and Camera (2008) say that it is impossible for a democratic society to function without free media and active and critical, informed citizens. Other academics cast doubts on this view, however. Tettey (2006) is of the opinion that the media is ascribed too much power. He finds this irresponsible and a threat to the credibility and the preservation of the democratic process. Graber (2003) is of the opinion that there is not necessarily a correlation between the degree of media freedom and the level of democracy. According to him, it is only an assumption that citizens need independent and objective news to play a critical part in society. He also refutes the various roles that are ascribed to the media: according to him modern media are not a forum for discussion because the cacophony of opinions makes the media lose their direction. He also thinks that the media add little to public opinion because they only produce raw material, the media cannot, ultimately, determine what the public thinks and feels. To what degree the media is independent is mostly determined by the 'owner' of a particular medium: also known as media ownership. Two dominant forms of ownership can be distinguished in journalism: the owner can be the state, or it can be private institutions, individuals or powerful families. In this way an 'owner' is able to influence the public debate and the political process. State ownership of the media is associated with a lower degree of monitoring political rights, civil liberties, protection of personal property and corruption. In general, state control of the media is related to gross national product and the political system of a country; media monitoring is greater in poorer and more autocratic countries (Djankov 2003). Various authors, including Josephi and Dixon (1997) call the Western, dominant media model the liberal model. Non-European countries often have what is called the polarized pluralist model. This polarized pluralist model is the opposite of the liberal model and is characterised by less developed mass media, parallels with political propaganda, less professionalism with increased intervention and control by the state. 9

11 When the state controls the content of the media, there is limited freedom of the press and, according to some analysts, a less wellfunctioning democracy. In this context 'freedom of the press' is defined as the freedom to carry out journalistic activities. Freedom of the press is the freedom of the printing press and the fundamental right to make feelings and thoughts known or public. The right of press freedom is part of the constitution in most Western countries. Objectivity of the news is also important, this is closely linked to economic independence and the ability to preserve pluralism of the press. However, in the whole world, and in particular in autocratic and dictatorial countries, journalism has to deal with restrictions of press freedom and restricted free practice of the profession of 'journalist' (Weaver et al 2003). See figure 1 for an overview of global freedom of the press. Figure 1. Global freedom of the press per country Freedom of the press can be threatened in many ways. In many countries there is censorship from the government where inspectors have to give newspapers official permission before articles can be published. Also if there is a conflict of interest between government and industry on the one hand and the media on the other hand, there may be informal restrictions on press freedom. This restriction can take various forms, from prohibition of publication or censorship to abuse, abductions, threats, or even murder of journalists or editors who wrote or want to write an article that displeases someone. 3.2 DEVELOPMENT IN JOURNALISM In order to further unravel the notion of 'international development journalism', it is important to first investigate the concept of 'development'. The term 'development' in international development journalism refers to the socio-economic position of a country, where countries are categorized as developed or developing, depending on this position. A clear definition of the concept development or developing countries does not exist, but often contains (one of) the following characteristics: widespread poverty, high population growth, rapid urbanization, under-utilization of working capital, political instability and corruption and environmental degradation (Szirmai 10

12 2005). Related concepts are public global goods such as raw materials and climate and policy coherence issues such as trade agreements, corporate social responsibility and peace and security. International development journalism is the reporting of this development. For this term a clear definition is also not present in the literature. One can, however, split the various definitions into two groups. The first understanding of this concept refers to the application of journalism to development issues; more specifically, to the way in which journalism and media are used to advance the development of the country. This first perspective on international development journalism is also called the ideological approach. This vision has its origins in the 1960s when many countries (especially in Africa) became independent and new states were formed. In this model, the press is seen as an active player in the process of nation building. Apart from their normal purpose, the media are also used as a tool for broader socio-economic development, and as a means for promoting national unity. Mass media is thus used by the government to further develop the country, to combat illiteracy and poverty, to create political awareness and to achieve further economic development. In this understanding of international development journalism the ownership of the media lies with the state, so that leaders can use the media as propaganda for political purposes. International development journalism is about the needs of the people and is seen as a higher purpose for journalism (Wimmer and Wold 2005). The second, more popular, understanding of international development journalism explains it as reporting of development and development processes in a country, and the way in which these reports are delivered to the public. According to Wimmer and Wold (2005) this approach is comparable to the Western style of investigative journalism. Research is carried out and a report is written on the progress of development programmes. At the same time, government activities and financial flows are examined. Kasoma (1992) adds that it is necessary to provide a personal aspect to the messages to increase the audience's identification with the news. A large degree of freedom of the press and transparency is necessary to carry out this kind of journalism. According to Wimmer and Wold (2005), besides freedom of the press, it is also required that there are sufficient reliable sources available and that there is enough knowledge about complex issues. Finally, the legal and economic security of journalists influences the reports. Because there is no single definition and explanation of the concept 'international development journalism' it is important to state which definition is being applied in this research report. According to Wimmer and Wold (2005) the ideal form of international development journalism should critically examine, interpret and analyse plans and developments, create context for projects and give background information, draw comparisons with developments in other countries and speculate on future developments. Academic research shows that a journalistic production is best able to do this if the media is not monitored by the state, so that journalists can report the news independently and can subsequently strengthen the democratic process by helping to form critical citizens. Therefore, the following research report makes use of the second understanding of international development journalism, as described above: journalistic reporting is understood in this report as reporting on development processes and on topics related to national and international development, such as globalisation and climate change. Examples of themes within these topics are: poverty, conflict, corruption, democracy, donations, economy (and cuts in development aid), development aid and projects, hiv/aids, hunger crisis, human rights, freedom of the press, piracy, racism, unemployment, education, inequality, etcetera. 11

13 4. THE GLOBAL MEDIA LANDSCAPE In this section the extent to which the media attends to issues is related to development and shall be discussed based on findings from the literature, interviews with scholars, journalists and employees of media organizations (a full list of interviewees can be found in the appendix, 9.1) and the findings from the newspaper and magazine analysis. A distinction is made between the media in the West and in the South. This analysis is intended to outline the context in which a project on international development journalism might take place and show the differences between these contexts. 4.1 THE DUTCH MEDIA LANDSCAPE For the project Development cooperation journalism from a Southern perspective', Dutch print media were analysed for their reporting of international development journalism from 1 December 2011 to 25 January Questions raised here are: does the Dutch media report on development cooperation? And if so, which media do this? What topics are addressed? Why these particular themes? And what sources were used for writing the reports? As has been discussed in the previous methodology section of this report, the following newspapers and magazines were analysed: NRC Handelsblad, nrc.next, de Volkskrant, Trouw, Nederlands Dagblad, Reformatorisch Dagblad, Financieele Dagblad, de Telegraaf, Spits, de Pers en Metro. Interest magazines Elsevier and de Groene Amsterdammer were also examined. In total, 84 newspaper articles and 5 magazine articles were coded. As Table 1 shows, the media that reported the most about developing countries and development during the investigated period were de Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad and Trouw. Then come Financieele Dagblad, Reformatorisch Dagblad and Nederlands Dagblad respectively. At the bottom of the list we find nrc.next, Spits, de Pers and de Telegraaf. In the investigated period the reports about developing countries and processes in the examined media were mostly related to the themes of Development Cooperation, Economy (budget cuts), Development and Poverty. Criticism about development cooperation was part of more than a quarter of the articles on development cooperation. In addition, many media reported on development cooperation in combination with decreased government spending. Reports on developing countries and processes were mostly written from a Western perspective. Only a few articles featured local perspectives without any link to the West. The geographic locations that were brought up the most in the articles are presented below in Table 3. As can be deduced from Table 3, Africa is quite often treated as a single, geographical unit in Dutch media articles. Although the investigation used Africa specifically as a search term, the continent also appears quite often when more general keywords are used. The link between development processes and the Netherlands is also often mentioned in these articles. In many articles a development project or development research is linked to the Dutch political situation such as the Dutch budget cuts for development cooperation. Of all the developing countries, the development policy in Nigeria is most often discussed in the media. These results may be explained by the increased attention during the investigated period for this country because of Dutch research on agriculture and a response to this from the Nigerian minister of agriculture. In addition, the news on economic developments and the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram caused increased media attention. 12

14 Location Number Location Number Africa 13 Sudan and South Sudan 2 The Netherlands 10 Tanzania 2 Developing countries and the Netherlands 9 Botswana 1 Nigeria 7 Ethiopia 1 World 5 Egypt 1 South Africa 5 Ivory Coast 1 Africa and Asia 4 Kenya 1 Developing countries 4 Malawi 1 Developing countries and the West 4 Mali 1 Africa and the West 2 Mali and Libya 1 (North) Africa, Middle East 2 Mozambique 1 Egypt, USA and Germany 2 The Netherlands and Haiti 1 Haiti 2 Senegal 1 Emerging economies 2 The West 1 Table 3 Overview of article topics related to development, sorted by geographical location POPULAR THEMES IN THE MEDIA The analysis shows that certain development related themes are popular in Dutch media. A number of examples are given below: Budget cuts: 'This year, the Netherlands is spending EUR 4.4 billion on development cooperation, 958 million less than originally budgeted. The number of donor countries had been reduced from 33 to 15 and the aid budget has been limited to four sectors', as is explained in de Volkskrant on 10 January For virtually all newspapers this news caused reports on development cooperation discussing good and bad reasoning behind the current ways of working. Development organizations react angrily to the news, such as Cordaid in the Financieele Dagblad of 12 December A new world: On 1 December 2011 Ben Knapen claims in nrc.next that 'the Western development aid model is outdated'. The role of the authorities should become smaller and more attention must be given to new players in the field such as philanthropists and businesses. On 3 December 2011 the Opinion section of NRC Handelsblad features a piece by Robbert van Lanschot in which he argues that Africa no longer benefits very much from classic Western development aid. 'Nobody is talking about aid any more, except for a few politicians and technocrats. The continent is focusing on business, with Asia'. Because countries that we still consider to be developing, such as China and Brazil, are also playing an increasingly important role in development aid. In addition, the geographical distribution of poverty has changed considerably, and these days there are more poor people in middle-income countries than in low-income countries. Type of development aid: International development economist and writer of the book Poor Economics, Esther Duflo, is in favour of more research into to the effectiveness of development cooperation, as can be read in, among many others, the Trouw of 31 13

15 December In his PHD thesis on the fight against global poverty, which is discussed in different media such as the Nederlands Dagblad of 22 December, Rutger van den Noort in turn claims that customization is the key to aid. On 10 January 2012 Trouw headlines that 'Water must be the focus of Dutch development policy', referring to Knapen's focus policy. Criticism on international development cooperation: On 19 January 2012 de Volkskrant quotes aid organizations Oxfam and Save the Children who say the death of thousands of Africans could have been avoided if governments, NGOs, major donors and the UN would have responded earlier to the catastrophic famine in the Horn of Africa. According to Trouw of 8 December 2011 there are enough ideas for development projects, but in the field of medicine and agriculture they often fall flat because researchers and funders don't realize until it is too late that issues of patenting must be resolved. The Dutch pension fund ABP is discredited in de Volkskrant of 3 December 2011 because it made investments in Mozambique, which contributed to the seizing of farmland and thus formed a threat to the local population's food security. Africa: The image of Africa as a lost continent is persistent and is reinforced by events such as the famine in the Horn of Africa. However, the opposite opinion can also be heard in the Dutch media, for example Stephen Ellis of the Africa Study Centre in Leiden who expresses the hopeful thought that Africa is the continent of the future in the Nederlands Dagblad of 23 January The fact that Africa is developing at a high speed is also emphasized in de Volkskrant of 4 January The article states that the continent should lean less on development cooperation and should concentrate more on its own economy, such as the tax system. After all, the middle classes are increasing and so is their capacity. Africa is, after all, 'less poor than we think', according to an article in de Volkskrant on 30 December Statistics do not take the informal economy into account, even though in Africa this is just as big or even bigger than the official economy. However, the situation is not all rosy. The fiveyear research programme 'Tracking Development' has shown that, economically, Africa is lagging behind Southeast Asia because too little has been invested in agriculture, NRC Handelsblad reports on 15 December Furthermore, news about hiv/aids is still often related to the African continent, for example in the report "Africa knows too little about aids," in Spits on 1 December 2011, for World Aids Day. Projects: Many reports feature aid projects in developing countries initiated by the West. On 7 January 2012 NRC Handelsblad reported about a project in Malawi where fewer women died in childbirth because of the actions of a Dutch doctor. Elsevier reported about Akkert Mentink, who moved to Tanzania for the SME Impact Fund that invests in agricultural businesses on 3 December The foundation of the platform MyWorld was grounds for papers to interview a small aid organization. The Kenia naar school (Kenya to school) foundation was positively depicted in the Reformatisch Dagblad on 17 January From the above analysis the conclusion can be drawn that Dutch media write relatively few items about 'development cooperation'. There is no separate section in papers for this or related subjects: articles appeared in the sections Opinion, Economy or World. The research report "Development in Journalism" (2006) by Jaap Meijers showed that this leads to a lack of knowledge about this subject among journalists and readers. In this report, an anonymous NGO spokesperson comments about this in the following way: "The problem is that most journalists do not write about development cooperation as a whole but only about one aspect, they take that aspect and neglect others, or don't know about them, or aren't interested. That is not their business, the other agency's guy will just have to write about it." 14

16 Other problems that journalists are faced with in relation to writing about development cooperation are, according to Meijers: domestication - that there must always be a link to the Netherlands - using established sources so that little new information can ever come to light, having to keep everything short and to the point because otherwise consumers attention may be lost and the lack of specific knowledge about development cooperation. Moreover, editors appear to be cutting budget where news about Africa is concerned. In most cases editors send a correspondent abroad who speaks the local language, but in Africa this is not the case. This may lead to the strengthening of stereotypes concerning Africa in Dutch media. Meijers' research also shows that Dutch journalists would like to write more articles about development projects but that they think that consumers are not interested in these subjects unless there is a direct link with the spending of aid funds and their effectiveness. The Lokaalmondiaal analysis has similar findings: many newspapers mostly report on budget cuts on development aid, what people think about this and how the development sector could be reformed. The focus is on Dutch investments and not on the consequences for the countries that receive the aid. Dutch media report from a Western perspective and a local voice is missing. Only very rarely will African correspondents or local sources and interviewees be used. In addition, the tone of voice in Western media with regard to development cooperation seems predominantly critical. Budget cuts and unsuccessful projects get a lot of media attention. The negative image of the continent is often repeated in papers and magazines. Economic growth and possibilities received relatively very little attention in the investigated period. As the analysis shows development related topics are featured very rarely in Dutch newspapers. Is there any interest in topics related to development among the Dutch public? For asked this question to a number of journalists, media organization employees and specialists. According to respondents, the fact that foreign countries and topics related to development are not important for Dutch journalistic productions is attributable to the Dutch media's habit of 'navel-gazing'; the one-sided focus on the Netherlands itself. Furthermore the respondents claim that there is relatively little attention for these subjects in the Dutch media because they are following the wishes of their target audiences. Gie Meeuwis, Journalism professor at the Fontys College for Journalism in Tilburg, claims that the question of who is selecting the news is 'the eternal discussion in journalism'. He characterizes this as the so-called 'chicken and egg discussion'. In his interview he states that, although the media should listen to their target audience, they should not lose sight of their informing task just because the audience wants something else. According to him, the media's social responsibility, bringing the news, including the news from abroad, must always come first. The question then becomes relevant if this characterization is indeed correct: are Dutch media consumers not interested in development topics? The analysis has shown that Dutch readers are especially interested in international development journalism when it concerns 'basic human needs', such as food security and water supply. 'Hard news' is dominant here, a survey carried out by the free paper Metro and media organization MiraMedia revealed, which was part of the special Metro feature 'Diversity and Development Cooperation' (2012). Negative news, about disasters for instance, can count on plenty of attention form the media. Because of all the budget cuts in the Netherlands and the controversy about development cooperation budget cuts, the financial side of development cooperation has also become interesting for readers. 'Dutch people want a critical evaluation of development aid, they want to know what their money is being spent on', says Vrij Nederland editor Harm Botje. Margo Smit from the VVOJ (Association of Investigative Journalists) goes even further: 'The Netherlands wants to know if the Netherlands Lmt. is better off for the spending. 15

17 Development cooperation as a separate story is less attractive than it would be as part of a larger story on food production, freedom or economic developments, nearly all respondents say. Because despite the 'navel-gazing', in a certain way foreign countries and development are getting more attention because of globalisation and the fact that more Dutch people are travelling. Small projects and personal stories that appeal to news consumers and can act as an example in an abstract story are most attractive to Dutch readers. The newspaper analysis and literature review have shown that the Dutch media publishes hardly any articles written by local journalists from developing countries. According to the respondents local content hardly ever appears in Dutch newspapers because most of them already have their own network of correspondents, in which they have invested a lot. Furthermore the lack of experience with working with foreign journalists means many media outlets are hesitant to use them. The quality of the work of journalists who are unknown to these media outlets is also difficult to check, the respondents argue. For these reasons, Dutch journalists are more often used for foreign affairs pieces than local correspondents. Furthermore, respondents raise the language barrier as a problem. Directly placing an article in a paper, magazine or Dutch news website is impossible because of the language difference. Before it can be placed the article has to be translated and this costs time and money. This makes foreign content less attractive for the Dutch media. Besides the translation, the piece must be edited with a specific target audience in mind, a target audience unknown to the foreign journalist. Every country, even every media outlet, has its own journalistic style of working and writing that is directed towards a specific target Image 1 by Julia Dreier in Morocco for the Beyond Your World programme group. An example of this is 'the NRC-tone', as René Moerland, NRC Handelsblad's foreign affairs editor, calls it. The biggest differences between productions from African journalists and Western ones are, apart from the different writing style, a different perspective: a different way of journalistic writing and a personal connection to the region and the subject. The fact that African journalists write their articles from an African perspective is a big disadvantage for one quarter of the respondents. 'You see, a journalist's most basic task is to select news and make it understandable for the news consumer', says Thomas Bruning of the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ). Trouw's foreign affairs editor Stevo Akkerman is of the opinion that 'the affairs in the piece must appeal to Western readers; they must be able to understand it'. Moerland explains that articles are too short to explain such a different context. Local terms, details and incidents are unknown to a Dutch reader and therefore less interesting, claims Xandra Schutte, editor-in-chief of De Groene Amsterdammer. 16

18 4.2 THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE IN THE SOUTH The second part of this chapter is about the Southern media landscape. Here also, as described in the methodology section of this report, the information is based on a literature review and interviews with Dutch journalists, scientists and experts as well as African journalists. In addition there is an overview of the different kinds of media that were used to analyse which media are the most effective. As the theoretical framework has shown, in the African context, private institutions, families and the state predominantly control the media. Freedom of the press can be limited by this media ownership and the media are in this situation not only used as an information conduit, but also as a propaganda tool to convince the populace of certain policy choices. Especially in the period of decolonisation in the end of the 60s and in the 70s and 80s this was very common in African countries. During this period, independent media were an exception to the rule. This authoritarian media landscape didn't change until the 90s, but still the polarized pluralist model is the dominant media model in the African media landscape. According to the literature (Levitsky en Way 2010), state media are still the most important news source and the African media landscape is characterised by political instability, a lack of transparency and national development goals (Moehler en Singh 2011). A report from Reporters Without Borders (as reproduced in figure 1) shows that many countries in Africa have only a limited level of press freedom. The Islamic North-African countries fall into this category, but also Nigeria, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Burundi and Zimbabwe. In North Sudan the situation is even 'very serious'. A large part of West Africa and Central Africa also has great issues. Southern Africa does slightly better and according to the report Namibia is the only African country to score the mark "good". Despite the fact that, according to many authors and journalists, the situation in certain countries is improving, freedom of speech cannot be expected in the Southern media for a long time to come. According to Cees Hamelink, professor in mass communications at the University of Amsterdam, the media in Africa still function as a propaganda tool for the authorities. According to Hamelink the media's unreliability is being caused by the lack of official ethical codes and self-reflecting authorities in Africa. Current events are automatically related to government activities, making the news service score low in the field of objectivity. In many African countries entertainment is dominant in media and this genre is extremely popular. Many Africans get their news and tips from the popular television and radio soaps, based on daily, local African life. This concept is cleverly used by local and international NGOs. Commercial companies have also discovered the impact of these soaps (beer brands, for example). With the rise of commercial media, the influence of the state on the information supply is diminishing gradually. In the past years a third media model has also been gaining popularity in the South; the community media. This type of reporting is usually instigated by a foreign donor project or a local initiator. The aim is that the media outlet is run and controlled by the target audience. Understanding of and contact with the community is crucial. Leon Willems, manager of the organization Free Press Unlimited, has reservations when it comes to this media model. Because many development organizations are responsible for financing local media for example by placing advertisements, among other things - it is harder for these media to criticize the conduct and projects of these organizations. Willems also states that African journalism is inclined to look at the involvement of international NGOs with a colonial view; with a feeling of interference, without a tradition of really critically following their work. According to Inge Brinkman, researcher at the Africa Study Centre in Leiden, a new trend in Africa is finding the latest news literally 'on the street'. This is called radio trottoir. This system is applied in radio shows, television programmes, but also in newspapers. Citizens 17

19 are asked for their opinion and local news items on the street. This 'grapevine' is seen as the most reliable news source because there is no outside interference; the regular person can make their voice heard and is involved in reporting the news. This investigation makes clear that the perception of media freedom and reliability differs very strongly amongst the various African respondents. According to Ramata Sore (journalist in Burkina Faso) journalism has the same rules and professional ethics all over the world. Kofi Ametebe (journalist in Burkina Faso) does not agree and sees a fundamental difference between the Western media landscape and the African one, although he does think that there has been a lot of improvement in the last ten years. 'The Southern media should better anticipate public issues and current problems,' Ametebe states. Nama Germain (journalist in Burkina Faso) thinks the most important points for improvement for Southern media are the respect for facts, objectivity and the preservation of ethical standards: 'Wherever a journalists has their roots, they always have a civic duty to contribute to strengthening the citizens conscience and the people's development.' ANALYSIS LOCAL MEDIA As described in the methodology section of this report a number of African journalists have been asked to analyse the local media for international development journalism for a short period. Here follows a few results from that analysis. Uganda's state newspaper New Vision features many articles about development. However, these are short, superficial articles which only mention 'facts', there does not seem to be any investigative journalism. The news reporting is mostly positive. With headlines such as 'NGO builds 100 schools' and 'NGOs to join hands and fight against TB' it's mostly success stories that are highlighted. There are absolutely no negative statements about the government. This is in contrast with the independent Daily Monitor. This newspaper is a lot less positive and tries to be critical about donor funds and the progress of development projects. The paper has headlines such as 'government spend US cash on ghost schools' and 'government fails to meet growth targets'. On 17 April the independent Sudanese newspaper Al-Sahafa headlined that the UN mission in the country was having disappointing results. The paper criticizes the UN peace mission in Darfur because, according to the paper, all the funds are going to payment of salaries, instead of development in the region. In Tanzania, the Daily News makes use of every opportunity to put a minister in a favourable light when a ribbon is cut for a new school or sports complex. Headlines such as government promises improvement often feature on the newspaper's front page. The analysis seems to suggest that there was little investigative journalism involved in writing the articles. The Citizen in Tanzania scores a little better on this front and attempts to break down budgets and to take a closer look at relations between Tanzania and foreign bilateral and multilateral donors. According to the African journalists that contributed to the investigation it is important that stories become 'more local' so that the local population can identify with them. Now, for example, only the opening of a school and the minister are featured in a story. Questions such as: which children go to that school? In which way is the population concerned? Who are the teachers? Are far more interesting but are hardly featured. Journalist Germain often writes about large development projects: 'By showing which situations are hindering the progress and success of projects, people may be able to prevent these things from happening in the future'. Another example is a production about the consequences of deforestation. In order to cook food trees are cut down in almost all countries to produce charcoal. However, this causes complete forests to be cut down, trees will not grow back, and the ground erodes and becomes infertile. In the long 18

20 term this is a disaster for the local inhabitants. By showing these problems and which alternative behaviours there are, the media can combine spreading the news with a social function for society. 4.3 TYPES OF MEDIA IN THE SOUTH Africa has the same journalistic disciplines as the Western world. However, the implementation and the popularity per media outlet are very different from the West. In this section the various media are documented and their effectiveness and scope are analysed RADIO AND TELEVISION Radio is at present still the most popular medium in Africa, although the exact scope differs strongly per country. Radio is popular because it is easily accessible, even in remote rural areas. In addition, it is also an accessible medium for the population as a whole, because the reports are often broadcast in the local language, making them accessible for the illiterate part of the population. The fact that this medium is free of charge also makes it an attractive alternative (Bratic 2008). According to Bratic (2008) the popularity of radio stems from the long oral traditions in Africa. People have always told each other stories, and the existence of this tradition is why oral stories, poetry and songs are very popular. The various radio channels play into this by broadcasting literary and poetry items and radio plays along with the news and phone-in shows. In addition, radio is increasingly being used as a tool for involving communities in decision-making and policy-making and to give them a voice in these processes. In this way discussion and dialog are encouraged. These are often the stateindependent radio stations, which are financially supported by international donors. Development organizations are also increasingly realising the importance of radio as a means to reach their target groups and have started using this widely. However, research also shows that these initiatives are not sustainable because the local population is not involved enough and is not building on already existing social and economic structures (Manyozo 2009). Image 2: Family in rural Africa listening to radio In many African countries television is increasingly popular, but radio remains by far the most popular. This is due to the fact that a television connection is very expensive to install in many countries, purchasing and maintaining equipment also costs a lot of money and access to electricity is often substandard. Those who are able to watch television mainly watch state channels WRITTEN PRESS For many African newspapers and magazines it is difficult to find a market. This is due to the diversity of languages, predominant illiteracy and high printing costs. In rural areas, these media are difficult or even impossible to obtain and they are not always easily 19

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