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FAM 4018S: Crisis Communication in Africa Dr. Ibrahim Saleh Ibrahim.

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Presentation on theme: "FAM 4018S: Crisis Communication in Africa Dr. Ibrahim Saleh Ibrahim."— Presentation transcript:

1 FAM 4018S: Crisis Communication in Africa Dr. Ibrahim Saleh Ibrahim.

2 Thesis Statement Violence is complex and the discourses of violence are based on the assumption that violence is in the masculine domain, but this is challenged by women who engage in self- defence classes and other types of martial arts training. Violence is often seen as only being legitimate when perpetrated by the state through the police or military (indeed a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence is seen as being crucial to state formation).

3 There have been several theorists, who have challenged the traditional wisdom such as Frantz Fanon (1968) who justifies personal-political violence as a response to the systemic violence of colonial poverty. Ward Churchill (1998) deconstructs the glorification of nonviolence, by advocating collective armed anti-colonialist struggles for self- determination of indigenous peoples. Peter Gelderloos(2007)suggests that direct-action tactics challenge the violent/non-violent binary, falling in the spectrum between the two.

4 Main Research Questions about media violence How do you define media violence? What actions constitute violence? Do you think there is too much, too little or just the right amount of violence in the media? How does media violence affect you? How do you think media violence affects others?

5 Positive effects of media violence Positive effects of media violence Cathartic effect Awareness of social problems Negative effects of media violence Aggressive stimulation theory Catalytic theory Desensitizing theory

6 "Mean-world syndrome" George Gerbner T.V. violence makes people think they’re in greater danger than they really are The more T.V. people watch, the more likely they are to give the “T.V. answer” Poses a threat to democracy

7 The Democracy Barometer – a new instrument for measuring the quality of democracy A new instrument aiming at measuring the quality of democracy, is based on a middle range concept of democracy embracing liberal as well as participatory ideas of democracy (freedom, equality and control).

8 Political succession in Africa All political systems experience leadership change. The study of succession raises the issues of who the new leader is and how that leader is selected. The former is the central concern within any polity, and is likely to receive far more attention, but for political scientists the question of the process of selection is more salient (Govea & Holm, 1998). There are two types of leadership succession: First, in the institutionalised system, political successions conform to a set of predetermined and widely accepted rules. Legitimacy is claimed by virtue of the process of selection, to the extent that it honours those rules. In the second type of succession, where there is a lack of institutionalisation, successions are completely self-justificatory and the leader is virtually self-selected. Legitimacy is claimed through possession of superior force and possibly justified by a set of policies (usually promulgated to `save the nation), but not through a process of compromise, bargaining or accommodation with opposition groups. The transition is marked by the threat or use of force, and the opposition usually refuses to recognise the new government.

9 Crisis of democracy? Critics hold globalization responsible for an ongoing crisis of democracy (Cox 1997; Schmitter 1996), increasing public discontent (Cox 1996; Longworth 1998) and a degradation of the concept of citizenship (Sassen 1996). Political crises are more directly linked to unregulated successions than economic or social crises. The collapse of a coalition or a shift in the political equation was a more disruptive precipitant of successions than cultural or economic problems.

10 The African case In Africa fair and freely contested elections have been rare. But in the absence of elections there is still a distinction between what we call a 'regulated' succession and a completely unregulated succession. Transition does not conform to a set of established rules, but is still the result of a political process. The process may be characterised by official or unofficial bargaining and consensus-building among elite groups. Even when such a process is limited to participation by the military, the new leader is in some way a product of that process (as opposed to being self-appointed), and begins a new administration having to acknowledge those same forces.

11 Political, cultural and economic crises Proposition 1: successions in the midst of political, economic or cultural crises are less likely to be regulated than successions without crises; Proposition 2: successions with more than one crisis present are less likely to be regulated than successions with only one crisis; Proposition 3a: successions in the midst of political crises are more likely to be regulated than successions during economic or cultural crises; Proposition 3b: successions in the midst of political crises are less likely to be regulated than successions during economic or cultural crises.

12 Limited conflict, or Low Intensity Warfare (LIC) -(Peri, 2010) War requires warriors to display perseverance and discipline, not to question their superiors. As a result, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and the public’s right to know have always been the first victims when a democracy engages in war. In 1995, (41% )of the Israelis agreed with the general statement: “The slightest threat to the security of the state is enough to justify serious restriction of democracy.” In another survey, a representative sample of Israeli society was asked whether freedom of expression in the media contributes to or endangers national security; (38.8%) thought it contributed to security, while (61.2%) thought the opposite.

13 Media As An Agent of Socialization For Conflict News media has the most significant socialization agent in contemporary society, which helped the journalists in their task as manufacturer of meaning and consent in a society that exists in a prolonged war. The deferential media changed its style and became critical and confrontational, they continued with political socialization of the masses, this time perhaps less consciously, not always openly, but more subtly

14 Pack Journalism Journalists covering military matters, war and politics generate peer pressure for harmonization and coordination of the news output produced in various media outlets. While seemingly inconsistent with a reporter’s natural impulse to beat the competition, there is a concurrent inclination to tread on safe ground, thereby reducing the risk of error and deflect criticism from one’s editor or colleagues, and by doing so ease the burden on a journalist, operating in conditions of uncertainty.

15 Methods of influencing journalism during wars Concealment: there is always a gap between what they knew and what they reported. As journalist would choose not to release information acquired on matters related to foreign policy and national defence. Silencing: deliberately silencing voices that come from other, subversive, "undesirable" sources. Word Laundering: the ability of words to misrepresent national security-related news by resorting to a refined, diluted, and emasculated language with the effect of voiding it of meaning.

16 Media scholars, such as Daniel Hallin and Lance W. Bennett, who addressed the media’s criticism during wartime, conceived of the indexing model. They argued that when media systems assume a critical attitude, the degree of freedom that they allow themselves reflects the range of opinions existing among decision-makers, and in all events they will not deviate from the range of dominant ideologies.

17 This presentation is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this licence, visit Or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.


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