The British media coverage of Africa
thesisposted on 18.03.2022, 13:33 by Chikaire Ezeru
How is Africa reported in the British press and why? This question is the centrepiece of this study. With the application of a longitudinal research approach – a rarity in this field, this study unravels comprehensively, the UK press coverage of Africa.
Using a continuous 26-year sample duration, spanning from 01 January 1992 to 31 December 2017 and the usage of five British national newspapers, comprising of the broadsheets (The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Times) and the tabloids (The Daily Mail, and The Sun), this study sets itself apart from past studies in this field, which have been largely dominated by event-based research.
In the conduct of this study, mixed research methods - quantitative content analysis and qualitative interviews were applied. This study discovered that the topics of African articles reported in the UK press were mixed, same as the actors and the tone of language used in describing Africa. Also, it was newly discovered in this study that the size of African articles became consistently more detailed from 2008 to 2017.
In line with most previous studies in this field, this study further confirmed that the journalists used to cover Africa in UK newspapers were exclusively Western journalists; the representation of Africa as a single country dominated the coverage; South Africa remained the most visible African country reported; African articles were dominantly reported in the inside pages.
However, some of these results were not uniform in the five individual newspapers applied to this study. While the more detailed coverage of Africa could be noted in The Daily Mail, The Guardian, and The Times, it was the opposite case for The Financial Times and The Sun.
These results may have been products of multiple influences and reasons, some of which emanate from within the media organisations, while some of the other factors are from outside of the media and they collectively determine and define the direction of Africa’s coverage in the British press.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Communication and Media