P030
The State and the Media: surveillance and censorship in Africa's pasts and presents

Convenors:
Florence Brisset-Foucault (IMAF)
Stream:
Panels
Location:
KH206
Start time:
30 June, 2017 at 9:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel proposes to explore the daily making of journalistic languages and activities by paying attention to what they owe to the routine work of the State; and to analyse how the media strengthens the State's capacities in reaching, educating, scaring, monitoring, or repressing its citizens.

Long abstract:

This panel proposes to explore the interplay between State and media in unorthodox ways, beyond any normative expectations, along two main axis: 1- It first encourages to explore the daily making of journalistic languages and activities by paying attention to what they owe to the routine work of the State: through leaks, repression and violence, but also sociabilities and friendships. Beyond simplistic antagonisms, papers will decipher the thick negotiations that lead to the publication, or not, of a story without, however, falling into political determinism: it should thus include the role of advertisement, ownership, material constraints and possibilities, journalists' work routines. The panel welcomes papers with data on the daily interactions between media and State agents (security services, civil servants, politicians or the judiciary); the daily work of censors and the way media staff resist, accompany or accommodate them; the common socialisations and sociabilities between journalists and rulers. 2- The second axis will be dedicated to the exploration of how the media strengthens the State's administrative capacities in reaching, educating, scaring, monitoring, or repressing its citizens, for instance by using radio to map shortcomings in public service delivery, by encouraging the denunciation of undeserving citizens, or by identifying protestors through press pictures or TV footage. It is important to note that this axis will include the use of new communication technologies but will not be restricted to Africa's presents. The panel encourages papers that will explore the use of the press, TV and radio in Africa's colonial and postcolonial pasts.