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Collaborative Investigative Journalism in Southern Africa

Lunga, Carolyne (2022). Collaborative Investigative Journalism in Southern Africa. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The research analyses how collaborative investigative journalism (CIJ) is being practiced in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Eswatini. Drawing on Latour’s (2005) Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and Shoemaker and Reese’s (1996, 2014, 2016) Hierarchy of Influences model, the study traced the actors involved in the collaborations and how they influenced the collaborative process. It also explored the role of technology and how this shaped the collaborative process. The research is based on case studies and uses interviews with 40 respondents and narrative analysis of purposively selected stories, reports, editorial charters, membership codes, funding reports, grant calls and editorial policies to research these cases. The significance of the research is, first, that it generates important empirical data on a topic that has not been researched previously. Second, its use of ANT and the hierarchy of Influences theories in combination. The findings show that collaborations in the three countries are influenced by a convergence of macro-level factors such as political and economic factors (donor influence through funding and encouraging collaboration), and micro-level factors, professional/individual factors. These factors interact differently in the three countries. Individual factors were especially important in South Africa, which has a thriving investigative journalism culture. In Zimbabwe and Eswatini macro-level factors such as weaker economies, non-profit funding and politics, a restrictive media environment and overcoming censorship were more significant. Unlike in Western newsrooms where technology is considered to play a significant role in facilitating collaborations, it is not driving collaborations in the case study countries due to low adoption levels in newsrooms, infrastructural problems, and the digital divide, particularly in Zimbabwe and Eswatini. The thesis contributes to journalism studies by providing detailed analysis of journalists’ understandings, experiences, and practices of doing collaborative investigative journalism in southern African countries and how macro, meso- and micro level factors converge in the process.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Lunga thesis 2022 redacted PDF-A.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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