African audiences and users are rapidly gaining in importance and increasingly targeted by global media companies, social media platforms and mobile phone operators. This is the first edited volume that addresses the everyday lived experiences of Africans in their interaction with different kinds of media: old and new, state and private, elite and popular, global and national, material and virtual. So far, the bulk of academic research on media and communication in Africa has studied media through the lens of media-state relations, thereby adopting liberal democracy as the normative ideal and examining the potential contribution of African media to development and democratization. Focusing instead on everyday media culture in a range of African countries, this volume contributes to the broader project of provincializing and decolonizing audience and internet studies.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 260
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"In Everyday Media Culture in Africa: Audiences and Users, we finally have a gem of an exploration into African media functioning as an integral part of Africans' lived realities - whether it is the legacy media of newspapers, radio and television or the newer forms of social communication powered by the Internet and the rapid increase in the uptake of mobile telephony across the continent. The overall result - and perhaps one of the most important lessons pulsating throughout this work - is that the very notion of `Africa' becomes a prism for analysing the social, political, economic and technological complexities that underpin media production and consumption in today's Africa. The analytical potency in each of the chapters lies in how the authors succeed in dispelling the often `Orientalized' myths about the continent, thereby drawing on the African media repertoire not only for self-analysis but also for linking the continent to the global project of truly internationalizing media studies." - Fackson Banda, UNESCO Programme Specialist, Media and Civic Participation Section
"How does one study an African audience nimble-footed in diversity and exposure to a myriad of media fodder in an increasingly sophisticated media landscape? Audiences and Users addresses this question by taking a closer look at everyday media cultures in Africa in an age of proliferation of dazzling media options for Africans to push the boundaries of creative agency and innovation. By taking seriously the socio-cultural context in which Africans embrace the new communicative technologies at their disposal, and by recognising the hierarchies that inform human relations, this book reiterates the centrality of ethnography and kindred observational research techniques for understanding the dynamics of persuasive communication and how audiences of different social backgrounds and positions relate to the media that target them and how they in turn target others with their very own media content. Using Africa as an entry point, Audiences and Users discusses how the quality of audience research in any context requires paying closer attention to the lived realities of media audiences and users. The book's message is refreshingly simple and urgent: As communication scholars we need to continually listen to, draw on, interact with and edify the importance of media audiences and users in their local contexts, and involve beyond rhetoric and tokenism those researched in the production of knowledge about their realities and predicaments. Normative and prescriptive media theories may have their value, but that should not entail a stubborn insensitivity to context and social change. Asking the right questions and building science entails carefully and critically situating the object of study within existing knowledge by drawing on and feeding back into it in terms of theory, methodology, issues and debates." - Francis B. Nyamnjoh, University of Cape Town
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