'This Place Used to be a White British Boys' Club': Reporting Dynamics and Cultural Clash at an International News Bureau in Nairobi

Bunce, M. (2010). 'This Place Used to be a White British Boys' Club': Reporting Dynamics and Cultural Clash at an International News Bureau in Nairobi. The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 99(410), pp. 515-528. doi: 10.1080/00358533.2010.509950

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Abstract

Africa has long been portrayed by Western media as a dark and conflict-ridden continent. Such reports have traditionally been produced by white journalists in the field, writing for a distant audience ‘back home’. In recent years, significant structural changes in the foreign news industry have seen the near-demise of foreign correspondents and the increasing use of locally hired journalists. This research explores the increasingly important role of local correspondents in the production of international news reports, and asks whether their presence may start to change how Africa is depicted in the West. This investigation is framed by a cultural analysis of the Reuters newsroom in Nairobi during the post-election crisis of 2007–08. This newsroom provides a microcosm of the media industry, in which Western and local journalists disagreed and debated the role of the media in a crisis. This clash of values offers a springboard for exploring the potential ability of local national journalists to shape the news: Do they have the power to challenge Western reporting modes, or are they simply reproducing the values of this system? This article concludes that the current situation is somewhere between the two: Westerners continue to dominate international reporting, but there are indications that a slow and sometimes uncomfortable synthesis is beginning to emerge.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs on 15 Oct 2010, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00358533.2010.509950
Uncontrolled Keywords: media, Kenya, international newsgathering, conflict, post-election violence, tribalism, Reuters, colonialism, Al Jazeera
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: School of Arts > Department of Journalism
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3599

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