Newsroom ethics in Africa: Quest for a normative framework

Date: August 24, 2011
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Newsroom studies in Africa are peppered with tales of unethical reporting practices, conflict of interest, and corruption. These problems have undermined the credibility of the media and limited editorial autonomy. While some scholars call for a return to African ethical roots as a panacea; others hanker for greater professionalism in the African media industry. The two approaches underscore the Afro-centric values versus Eurocentric values debate that has characterized much of the postcolonial discourses. This study offers an overview of the state of newsroom studies since the mid-1990s when Francis Kasoma identified two needs in Africa, namely, for journalism ethics and for African ethics (Afri-ethics). Since then there has been a media ethics boom marked by scholarly articles, workshops and conferences. Yet a chasm between theory emphasizing objectivity, balance, truthfulness etc and practice marked by corruption and sensationalism persists.

Publisher: African Communication Research
Edition: Vol 1 No 2
Year of Publication: 2008

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