Reporting on science in the Southern African context: exploring influences on journalistic practice

Trust Matsilele*, Mbongeni Jonny Msimanga, Lungile Tshuma, Sadia Jamil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

This exploratory study investigates the journalistic influences on science reporting in Southern Africa, filling the gap that is under explored. South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe are the selected cases. Methodologically, this qualitative study relied on in-depth face-to-face interviews and purposive sampling as designs. The study employed Reese’s and Shoemaker’s hierarchy of influences model as the preferred theoretical framework because it articulates diverse factors affecting news content, categorized from a micro-individual to the macro-social system level. This study found that lack of resources, limited knowledge of science by journalists, and preference for political and economic news have largely affected the quality and frequency of science reporting in Southern Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Asian and African Studies
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Hierarchy of influences
  • Mozambique
  • Science journalism
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe

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