Faculty Publications

Title

Communication and democratization in Africa: Constitutional changes, prospects and persistent problems for the media

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Africa, democratization, media growth, press freedom, press legislations

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Gazette

Volume

59

Issue

4

First Page

271

Last Page

294

Abstract

The current democratization process in Africa has ushered in significant constitutional and legislative changes in the continent. This article critically analyzes these changes with a view to finding new constitutional and legislative provisions that facilitate the development of the media and freedom of expression. It also examines the prospects for freedom of expression as well as problems that persist, and therefore need to be addressed. The main conclusion is that while recent constitutional changes offer promises for mass growth and freedom of expression, there are persistent problems that need to be addressed as part of the overall democratization process. For example, there is need to abrogate anachronistic statutory provisions in many African countries, put an end to the use of extra-legal and coercive measures in the state's relations with the media, as well as a need for sharp delineation and separation of the branches of government. Judicial independence, equitable access to government media, tariffs on media equipment and journalistic morality and professionalism are other problems highlighted in the article. © 1997, SAGE PUBLICATIONS. All rights reserved.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1997

DOI of published version

10.1177/0016549297059004003

Share

COinS