Media, Geopolitics, and Power: A View from the Global South

Media, Geopolitics, and Power: A View from the Global South

by Herman Wasserman


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The end of apartheid brought South Africa into the global media environment. Outside companies invested in the nation's newspapers while South African conglomerates pursued lucrative tech ventures and communication markets around the world. Many observers viewed the rapid development of South African media as a roadmap from authoritarianism to global modernity. Herman Wasserman analyzes the debates surrounding South Africa's new media presence against the backdrop of rapidly changing geopolitics. His exploration reveals how South African disputes regarding access to, and representation in, the media reflect the domination and inequality in the global communication sphere. Optimists see post-apartheid media as providing a vital space that encourages exchanges of opinion in a young democracy. Critics argue the public sphere mirrors South Africa's past divisions and privileges the viewpoints of the elite. Wasserman delves into the ways these simplistic narratives obscure the country's internal tensions, conflicts, and paradoxes even as he charts the diverse nature of South African entry into the global arena.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252083266
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 03/01/2018
Series: Geopolitics of Information Series
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Herman Wasserman is a professor of media studies and director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of Tabloid Journalism in South Africa: True Story!. He is editor of Taking It to the Streets: Popular Media, Democracy and Development in Africa and coeditor of Media Ethics Beyond Borders.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

Part I Transitions

1 From Apartheid to a New Democracy: Areas of Shift 17

2 "This Time for Africa"? Global Media Studies and the View from the South 47

3 A Changing Media Culture: Professional Ideologies between Past and Present 58

Part II Local Contestations

4 Is This Freedom? Media Ethics, "African Culture," and Universal Values 79

5 Global Genres and Local Context: What Controversies around Tabloidization Tell Us about South African Media and Society 97

6 Rethinking Global and Local: South African Perspectives on the "Future of Journalism" 112

Part III Global Shifts

7 BRICS and Beyond: Mediating New Geopolitical Relationships 135

8 New Pressures and Opportunities: Technology, Geopolitics, and Social Change 152

Conclusion 167

Notes 173

References 191

Index 211

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