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Newspapers in Sierra Leone: a case study of conditions for print journalism in a postconflict Society

Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin and Cole, Bernadette 2008. Newspapers in Sierra Leone: a case study of conditions for print journalism in a postconflict Society. Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies 29 (1) , pp. 1-20. 10.1080/02560054.2008.9653372

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Abstract

In this article the conditions for newspaper production in Sierra Leone since the end of the civil war in 2002 were used as a case study in the difficulties of democratic communication under conditions of poverty and underdevelopment. Sierra Leone has a tradition of a vigorous press. However, journalism struggles for survival in the country, which is one of the world's least developed. Problems include legal constraints, difficulties in distribution, lack of journalistic skills, a minuscule revenue base, and a lack of electricity, basic materials, technologies, and resources. The scarcity of financial resources engenders the unethical practice of “coasting,” or blackmailing, among journalists. However, resource problems haunt every layer of society, including government, business, and civil society. As such, the case of Sierra Leone demonstrates a broader point about journalism: That it cannot be viewed in isolation from broader social contexts. Despite these constraints, journalism in Sierra Leone is emerging as a watchdog on concentrations of power.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0256-0054
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:13
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/18261

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