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Doctoral Degrees (Centre for Communication, Media and Society)

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    Discontinuity without change? the place and discourse of colonial memory in Zimbabwe’s post- Mugabe Zanu-PF politics.
    (2024) Kupeta, Noah.; Lubombo, Musara.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.
    Zimbabwean politics are notably complex and difficult to understand, even by scholars with a strong interest in African affairs with a long institutional memory of the historical determinants of the independence and post-independence struggles within Zimbabwe. Through the lens of political culture and functional theory campaign communication, this qualitative inquiry titled “Discontinuity without change? The place and discourse of colonial memory in Zimbabwe’s post-Mugabe ZANU-PF politics” scrutinizes the colonial narratives in the political discourses in Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU (PF) following the Robert Mugabe era intending to understand how colonial memory shapes the party’s the ideological foundations and policy directions. The study draws on eight speeches delivered by former president Robert Mugabe during the 2002 elections, as well as speeches by his successor and current president Emmerson Munangagwa during the 2018 election campaign. It also incorporates insights from key informants within ZANU (PF), Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), Zimpapers, and Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) to explore the role of media in influencing the nuanced interplay between historical legacies, political discourse, and contemporary governance. By examining the ebbs and tides of electoral politics in Zimbabwe spanning nearly decades through the prism of post-colonial memory, the study concludes that while Mnangagwa’s ascendance as President hinted at a departure from his predecessor’s politics, there is a notable continuity in the streams of colonial memory that informed ZANU-PF electoral strategies. This underscores how political discourses and power dynamics during elections are deeply entrenched within the broader context of Zimbabwean politics and pan-African pursuit of of self-determination (Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo), identity and independence. Despite certain shifts in Mnangagwa’s ‘New Dispensation’ that deviate from Mugabeism, the persistence of colonial memory underscores its pivotal role in shaping the principles and practices of representative democracy within Zimbabwe. The media’s influence in (re)shaping post-Mugabe discourse sheds light on the implications of memory appropriation in contemporary Zimbabwean political communication.
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    An exploration of community radio, culture and health communication among rural and semi-urban dwellers in the central region of Ghana: a case study of Covid-19 and Radio Peace.
    (2022) Essel, Emmanuel.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    The mainstream global COVID-19 communication for development and social change approaches, instituted by the neoliberal forces, hinge on information dissemination targeting individual behavioural change to halt the spread of the virus (Dutta et al., 2020). Ghana’s public health communication about COVID-19 has primarily employed persuasive approaches using mainstream channels to share the WHO-approved non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs): personal hygiene, mass masking, social distancing and pharmaceutical measures. However, the adequacy of mainstream approaches to meet the COVID-19 communication needs among marginalised communities is unclear. This study focuses on pandemic responses and explores community participation through counter-discursive platforms like community radio. This thesis explores how local cultures influence the ability, modality and extent of community members’ participation in the workings of community radio in promoting COVID-19 relevant health communication. This study uses qualitative data from three semi-urban and rural community radio host districts in Ghana collected between July and December 2021. Radio Peace, a community radio station in Winneba, Ghana’s Central Region, serves as a single case study. Purposive sampling was employed to select participants from the Effutu Municipal, Awutu Senya West, and Gomoa West Districts, Ghana’s Central Region. By using the culture-centred approach and participatory communication, eight (8) focus group discussions (FGDs) and eleven (11) in-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted to understand how community radio attends to the communicative needs of marginalised people living within the selected communities. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. The findings suggest that community radio enhances the agency of marginalised people by providing an accessible public sphere for community-level dialogue concerning COVID-19 prevention using indigenous language. However, the involvement of marginalised people in Radio Peace’s COVID-19 communication intervention was limited by structural factors. These include indecorous language during on-air discourses, economic challenges of batteries to power radio sets, irregular community visits by the station’s staff, transmission challenges, and difficulty in calling into programmes due to jammed telephone lines. The study concludes that social, economic and cultural contexts significantly influence active listeners’ ability to participate in community radio interventions that pertain to COVID-19 communication. It also considers that community radio effectively communicates COVID-19 prevention messages that offer active listeners opportunities to be involved meaningfully in the interventions. Thus, the study proposes the socio-cultural model for the future conception, design and implementation of COVID-19 communication interventions for community radio in a manner that allows for marginalised people’s meaningful participation in such responses. Access, social capital and community participation are critical for effectively implementing the socio-cultural model for COVID-19 communication using community radio. The success of the socio-cultural model for COVID-19 communication hinges on a nuanced understanding of the beneficiary communities’ local needs, values, structural factors and economic capabilities.
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    Public participation in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) radio stations: a case study of Ukhozi FM and SAfm.
    (2020) Gamede, Sanele Justice.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    Radio has always and still remail one of the most useful, available, and affordable medium. Radio has remained relevant and continue to build communities through its programming. This is not different from the South African public broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC). The study investigates the public participation within the SABC radio stations using Sithakela Isizwe on Ukhozi FM and The View Point on SAfm as a case study. One of the roles of the media, especially a public service broadcaster such as the SABC, is to create and promote a platform for fair public engagement. It is on this platform that citizens behave as a public body, and are able to engage with one another freely, that is, with the of freedom of assembling together as a collective, associating themselves with other people or social groups and the freedom to express their opinions about matters of general interest. It is for that reason that the study explores the public participation in SABC using the above-mentioned shows as a case study, focusing on the extent in which the shows allow public participation, how it allow public participation and the extent in which the public, the radio presenters and producers influence programming of the shows. The South African based study is located in Durban and Johannesburg because Ukhozi FM and SAfm are located in Durban and Johannesburg. This qualitative study employs a content and thematic analysis to collect and analyse the data collected through in-depth interviews of the radio presenters and producers and through collecting buying the data from the SABC. The researcher used a purposive sampling to sample both the respondents in the study and the month, April 2019, for recording of both shows. The study employed the public sphere theory to make sense of the study. Jürgen Habermas ‘s defines the public sphere as a realm within society in which people can bring forth ideas which can be accessible to many people. The theory helped in understanding the realm established by the shows and to evaluate the type of public sphere. The study, through the help of the public sphere theory, revealed that the two shows formed a virtual public sphere. The study also revealed that there is public participation within the SABC radio stations particularly the shows in question in this study and have formed not only a virtual public realm, but they do allow a physical public sphere which was originally argued by Habermas when he observed the bourgeois society. The radio stations have not only created a virtual public platform, where the public engaged through social media and through traditional ways of participation such as call-ins, but the public has an influence, to a certain extent, toward the programming of the shows through public participation. The data also revealed that the radio presenters, producers, and the radio management have an influence not only in programming, but they also have influence on who gets to participate either as a guest or from the public. This happens when they decide who to participate as a guest during the planning of the show and it happens when they choose whose WhatsApp voice note to play on air, which Tweet to read, whose comment to read from Facebook and whose call to answer. The study, like many radio audience, public service broadcasting and radio public participation studies, pointed out that the virtual public sphere created by radio such as the SABC radio stations needs to constantly check and balanced between self-regulation and censorship. It also revealed that social media and the internet has not killed radio but it has enhanced the virtual public sphere.
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    The role of communication in addressing sociocultural factors that influence pregnant women to drink alcohol in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2021) Akpan, Udoh James.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    The World Health Organisation report (WHO, 2016) states that one in 10 women consumes alcohol during pregnancy globally, and 20% of these women binge drink. Drinking while pregnant harms the foetus with the possible consequence being Fetal Alcoholic Spectrum Disorder (FASD). South Africa has the highest reported FASD prevalence rates in the world. The South African Department of Health (DoH) recognises this as a severe public health issue affecting pregnant women. Studies show that the factors that motivate maternal drinking are more socio-cultural than medical and psychological. There have been global efforts to address this public health issue with pregnant women but the phenomenon still persists. This study addresses the issue by exploring the localised responses of pregnant women who drink while pregnant in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, through a qualitative investigation of the sociocultural factors that encourage alcohol consumption amongst this population. The study employed Participatory Health Communication as the theoretical framework and mobilised the Social Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC) as the process to identify and analyse the socio-cultural issues in Durban. This theoretical framework and process was supported by the Culture-Centred Approach (Dutta, 2008) to engage with the influence of culture and structure to understand the socio-cultural factors that contribute to their health choices and possible avenues for agency to address this. Communication plays a central role in this agency. The study adopted the Applied Thematic Analysis (Guest, McQueen and Namey, 2012) to interpret the data gathered from interviews with the participants at King Edward VIII Hospital. The study found that social and environmental factors are family, friends and access to shebeens and taverns in the neighbourhood which support a drinking culture that encourages social tolerance of alcohol consumption and the reluctance to stop drinking. The study identified the need for ongoing communication through preferred communication channels that are readily available for women to request support. The study found the importance to extend beyond knowledge acquisition, but to mobilise communication as a culturally nuanced tool to facilitate psycho-social support during times of alcohol consumption when pregnant.
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    An interpretive study of the representations of South African Zulu masculinities in the soap operas, Uzalo, Imbewu and Isibaya.
    (2021) Nzimande, Melba Belinda Melissa.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.
    Since their origins in the 1930s, soap operas have been known as a feminine genre. Contributing to soap opera scholarship, this study explores the interpretations of masculinities that are presented in three South African soap operas by Zulu male audiences living in KwaZulu-Natal - Uzalo, Imbewu and Isibaya. A constructivist approach guides the study in understanding that masculinities are fluid and influenced by social and cultural factors. It articulates the complexity and ambiguity of contemporary South African masculinities, thus working against stereotypical representations of black South African men. An indigenised cultural studies approach includes how the study’s focus group participants read the soap opera preferred messages of Zulu masculinities and reasons for their dominant, negotiated or oppositional readings of these. This is enabled through a comparison of data collected through in-depth interviews with producers from each of the soap operas, with responses from 30 focus group participants in rural and urban areas of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Data is analysed through the development of deductive and inductive thematisation where the relationship between the theme and international and local theoretical positions are explained. Typically, soap opera scholarship argues that the genre subverts discourses of hegemonic masculinity. This study found that contemporary South African soap opera representations of masculinities both uphold and subvert dominant discourses of Zulu masculinities. The significance of this is twofold. Firstly, soap opera producers are creating narratives that no longer conform only to traditional soap opera codes and conventions. They encode messages through narratives that draw in male viewers and use the power of cultural proximity in representations, meaning that there is a move to the indigenisation of settings, storylines and languages to attract audiences. Secondly, male audiences decode the messages through parasocial relationships and cultural proximity. The study adds to understanding the specificities of viewing within the African context, and the importance of creatives to be aware of the ways in which these habits shape the meanings of the programmes they produce. In sum, the study contributes to African masculinity studies, but particularly masculinity studies in soap operas in terms of representation and audience engagement in a “post” era, from the perspective of the global South.
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    The sustainability of a free press in Zambia’s Third Republic: a case of the Zambia Daily Mail and The Post newspapers.
    (2015) Hamusokwe, Basil Nchimunya.; McCracken, Donal Patrick.
    This study sets out to explore the sustainability of a free press in Zambia. The main objective is to contribute to the debate on factors affecting the political and economic sustainability, advertising in particular and independence of newspapers in a small media market. For this purpose, the study uses a case of the Zambia Daily Mail and The Post newspapers. Using political economy analysis, the thesis uncovers the nature and form of the media system; the factors influencing the independence and freedom of the press; the type, the extent, resources required for the sustainability of a free press and the role and impact of policy interventions for creating an enabling environment for a free press in Zambia. The thesis acknowledges that global transformations are pushing media systems around the world towards the liberal system of market-driven de-regulated, convergence and commercialism. Similar claims are made that, like any other, the Zambian media market is not immune to these trends, and is in transition to integrate with the global trends. It, however, stresses that the degree and extent to these transformations varies from region to region, and country to country. However, irrespective of some signs of evidence of this transformation, Zambia is a small country with a small media market, subjecting it to different influences from affluent Western countries. It has therefore been argued that country-specific conditions in the media and communication environment such as a country’s media and communications infrastructure, and more rudimentary characteristics including market size, growth rate, profitability and competition should be taken into consideration. In this vein, the thesis also contends that the influence of the global trends in the political economy of communication on the Zambian media system has not been subjected to adequate academic examination. In fact, this observation is extended to most third world African countries. As a result, this has led such countries to either be left in the margins or be subjected to sweeping generalisations made about Western societies. Therefore, the thesis advocates evidence-based approaches for conceptualising the political economy of communication.
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    An exploration of the social-cultural factors that influence oral pre-exposure prophylaxis uptake and integration into sexual and reproductive healthcare services for young women in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2019) Nota, Phiwe Babalo.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    In the past, HIV prevention efforts have disappointingly focused on reducing individual risk, with insufficient attention to socio-cultural, economic, structural, and other contextual factors that increase vulnerability to HIV. However, public health efforts towards HIV prevention now focus on combination strategies. This strategy recognizes that the integration of biomedical, social and structural interventions in mitigating the HIV and AIDS epidemic will translate to population-level impact. In Southern Africa, young women are disproportionately vulnerable to HIV infection, with women between the ages of 15 to 24 twice more likely to be infected than men. However, the licensure of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and the South African National Department of Health policy on the integration of oral PrEP in sexual reproductive health (SRH) services creates renewed hope for young women who are often unable to negotiate safe sex practices. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of biomedical technologies is influenced by socio-cultural, structural and economic factors. This underscores the need to understand; (a) Populations that will consider using oral PrEP, (b) The likely socio-cultural challenges or opportunities that will influence acceptance, uptake and adherence of oral PrEP, and (c) How to integrate oral PrEP in already existing SRH services in a manner that ensures optimal adherence to oral PrEP to key population groups. This study sought to find effective ways in which oral PrEP can be integrated into SRH services in South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). To attain an in-depth understanding of this topic, participatory visual methodologies in the form of journey mapping workshops and one-on-one interviews with 15 young women taking oral PrEP were facilitated. The participatory approach to this inquiry created an enabling space for young women to engage in dialogue about oral PrEP. Young women need to be placed at the centre of the response to HIV and AIDS in a meaningful way that will facilitate sustainable interventions in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Two nurses from both research sites were also interviewed to yield healthcare providers perspectives into the study inquiry. The study has the potential to inform policymakers on how existing SRH services can be improved to multi-dimensional systems that support oral PrEP uptake and adherence by young women at high risk of HIV. Findings of this study support the conclusion that oral PrEP needs to be integrated into already existing SRH services in ways that are context-specific and culturally relevant for communities. The young women in this study explicitly shared the various social and cultural factors that will influence them accessing oral PrEP in SRH services within their local clinics. Issues related to the structure, services offered and healthcare provider’s attitudes will affect acceptance, uptake and adherence of oral PrEP by young women in rural and urban KZN communities.
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    Online newspapers and reader gratification: modeling the effects of interactive features, content and credibility among Zambian readers.
    (2020) Mbozi, Parkie Shakantu.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    Online newspapers have been in existence globally since 1998 and in Zambia since 1999. They have grown exponentially to establish themselves as a mainstream mass media genre and as the tool and symbol of post-modern life. Yet despite the position they occupy today as one of Zambia’s main sources of news and information, there are gaps in scholarship, specifically in audience-based empirical research dedicated to investigating, analysing and characterising their use and its effect on readers and media ecology. Applying the uses and gratification, network society and diffusion of innovation theories, the study investigates and models gratifications sought and obtained from the content, interactivity features and social functions of online newspapers. It investigates and characterises the outcomes of obtained gratification in terms of influence on readers and impact on the media ecology, specifically on radio, television and print newspapers. The study uses empirical data that are based on perceptions, attitudes and diverse audience experiences elicited through self-reports of 535 randomly sampled individuals in Lusaka Province of Zambia. Data were analysed using advanced statistical tests (Chi-square and regression analyses). The study establishes moderate but rising selectivity, exposure and attention to online newspapers, albeit only among certain demographic groups (e.g. those with Internet access). Readers mainly seek and are generally gratified by: 1. the surveillance (news and information seeking) and socialization functions of online newspapers; 2. content of a general nature, especially politics and governance news; and. 3. human interactivity features. The study further establishes that online newspapers have a strong displacement effect on radio and print newspapers but a weak substitutability (ultimate displacement) effect, which upholds multiplatform media news and complementarity between online newspapers and the old media. In terms of micro-level socialising influence, the study establishes strong surveillance or awareness influence but weak behavioural change influence or effect, which accords with established ‘stages of change’ media effect theories. The study also establishes that readers perceive online newspapers to be only moderately credible. However, it concludes that perceived credibility does not ‘intervene’ in the overall gratification obtained from online newspapers or on their perceived influence on their readers and the extent to which they are perceived as substitutes for traditional media. The study confirms the relevance of all the three main theories – uses and gratification theory, network society and diffusion of innovation – to the study of online newspapers. It also ‘discovers’ the relevance of subsidiary theories, notably ‘reliance’ and ‘familiarity’, to characterising media use behaviour among the respondents.
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    Television engagement with followers on Facebook: a case study of nation television during the 2016 elections in Uganda.
    (2020) Alina, Marion Olga.; McCracken, Donal Patrick.
    This study investigates how traditional media of television struggles to retain hegemony in the online public sphere, where other players such as ordinary citizens co-produce content- initially a preserve of traditional media. The study is anchored in the theory of the public sphere as espoused by Jurgen Habermas (1989), as well as the agenda setting theory of McCombs and Shaw (1972). The context of the study is the 2016 elections in Uganda, part of which period social media was shut down in the country, to prevent what government described as an intention to use the platform for spreading lies. This effectively integrates the state in the struggle for hegemony on social media. The study therefore presents an interpretation of how each of these three entities: ordinary citizens, herein referred to as followers, the media and the state struggle to retain control of the Facebook communicative space. This study applies a combination of netnography and in-depth interviews to bring to empirical scrutiny the use of Facebook in Uganda. It concludes with the argument that traditional media‘s agenda setting role is in conflict with the discursive nature of Facebook as a public sphere. The study further draws a connection to the clamped down radio talk shows in Uganda, commonly known as ebimeeza, to argue that Facebook is Uganda‘s new ebimeeza. A new term, FaceBimeeza, is coined to explain this relationship.
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    Re-articulating media re/presentations of climate change discourse(s) in South Africa: climate change politics in the Global South.
    (2019) Evans, Henri-Count.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    Climate change has become a critical 21st global problem, and with it, more threats to planetary existence are increasing. Notwithstanding the seriousness of the climate problem, politicians and policymakers in South Africa and globally have identified climate change as a problem but prescribe solutions that extend either the interests of the fossil fuel industry under the guise of technological development (clean coal and carbon sequestration) or Promethean neoliberal solutions benchmarked on renewable energy and carbon trading. Both solutions prioritise neoliberal interests and fall short of averting a more severe biospheric and planetary catastrophe. The news media, generally long thought of as the societal ‘watchdog,’ have also acceded to the injunctions of profit and accumulation, and construct climate change and solutions to it within paradigms that promote capitalist self-mutation. Through theoretical sampling, this discourse analysis study selected four weekly newspapers from South Africa, namely, the Mail & Guardian, the Sunday Independent, the Sunday Times, and the City Press, and examined how they represented climate change discourses. The media selected for this study were instrumental and had sheer capacity to define and determine the frames and representations within which climate change is articulated and understood in South Africa and outside. At a grand theoretical level, the thesis incorporated the metabolic rift/ecological rift theories (Clark and York, 2005; Foster et al., 2010) as grand paradigms for theorising climate change. Articulation (Laclau, 1977; Hall et al., 1978, 1980, 1985; Grossberg, 1992, 1996; Slack, 1996, 2008, 2016) and discourse analysis (Fowler et al., 1978, Hall et al., 1978, Hall, 1985, 1986, Hall and O’Shea, 2013, Fairclough, 1989, 1992, 1995; van Dijk, 1983, 1985, 1988, 2008; Foucault, 1971) were used at both theoretical and methodological levels and were useful in deconstructing ideologies in the news, the role of language, the sponsors of such discourses and the power they hold in society. The thesis, through discourse analysis, together with articulation, the metabolic rift theories, and ecological rift theories, examined 290 stories selected from the four newspapers for emergent themes that came from the chosen news stories. The key themes related to a) news media constructions of climate change impacts, b) news media representations of climate change politics, internationalisation and multilateral processes, c) news media representations of South African energy futures, d) news media representations of South African responses, especially carbon tax policies, e) news media reproduction of the green economy Promethean discourse and f) news media representations of climate justice. Overall, two key observations were made regarding South Africa’s climate change policy and discourse arenas as they played out in the news media. Firstly, climate change discourses in South Africa were intimately linked to energy discourses because the country was an energy-intensive economy, where coal represents the lifeblood of the entire economy. Climate change mitigation required that countries divest from coal and reduce emissions by all possible means. Essentially, future energy plans (energy futures) determined how South Africa would manage to reduce its emissions. The second observation was that as the country sought to move away from coal, at least ideally, there had been optimism in technological and renewable energy interventions. The techno-renewable energy optimism had become so naturalised, at least at discourse and not implementation level, with hopes that this would lead to a more ‘successful’ green economy.
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    “Those who tell the story rule society”: critically exploring four South African case studies (2008-2018) of online reports on ‘queercide’ and their significance for quality online news reporting through a mixed method approach.
    (2019) Van der Schyff, Marchant.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    The persecution of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people persists despite a global climate of tolerance for diversity and inclusivity. However, liberal policies in countries like South Africa rarely protect sexual minorities against violence, abuse and rejection. One of the most violent manifestations of the response to the lifestyle of LGBTIQ people is continued oppression that has often resulted in the murder of lesbians without much credence given to this as a crime against human rights by the media in general. Moreover, limited academic research has been conducted to fully engage with the serious issue where LGBTIQ issues intersect with online reporting activity. What is expected from reporters of news if they wish to remain relevant while serving the ideals of honesty, reputable reporting and conscience? And, arguably more importantly, how do online reporters approach issues of concern that impact marginalised communities in a democratic society? Although South Africa proclaims a liberal Constitution, the policies stemming from it are seldom operationalised concerning the plight of vulnerable groups such as lesbians who suffer daily abuse as a result of a heteronormative patriarchal social context. It may even be said that the perpetrators of violence against lesbians garner more fervent coverage than the victims themselves. If this is true, the quality of online reports on ‘queercide’ deviates from what is required and this has implications for creating credibility and engaging audiences in a manner that is fair and just. Therefore, what framework for quality journalistic reporting appears or, conversely, does not appear when information on these murders is published? This study thus aimed to explore these issues using a mixed method investigation that was framed by the queer theory, the standpoint theory, the framing and representation theory, and the newsworthiness theory. These theories were employed to illuminate the technical and ideological frames that are used to report on the murders of lesbians. The sample selected comprised four case studies from the date of murder until the appearance and pleading of the alleged perpetrators. The data that had been obtained were analysed to contribute to information concerning how these cases were constructed for media publication, to establish trends in terms of similarities and differences in reporting among these cases, and to argue why these may have occurred. The findings that emerged significantly revealed how print media and online reporters approach and report the murders of lesbians as a marginalised groups. The findings have implications for gender studies, education, journalism and communication science, particularly in the advent of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
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    The role of Christian music in identity construction among black South Africans and diasporic Nigerians and Congolese in Durban, South Africa.
    (2019) Abiolu, Rhoda Titilopemi Inioluwa.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Exploring the role of adolescent youth-friendly services (AYFS) in primary health care clinics that offer HIV and sexual reproductive health (SRH) services for adolescent girls and young women in Vulindlela, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2020) Vukapi, Yonela.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    In sub-Sahara Africa, adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) bear a disproportionate burden of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) risks, where HIV infection and adolescent fertility are a major concern. Specifically, in South Africa, it is estimated that nearly 2 000 AGYW between the ages of 15 to 24 years are infected with HIV every week. Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2019, 15,6% of females between the ages of 15 and 19 years in South Africa had begun childbearing. Consequently, systemizing and expanding the reach of quality AGYW health service provision is part of the South African National Adolescent and Youth Health Policy. To promote accessibility, efficiency, quality, and sustainability of adolescent youth-friendly health services (AYFS) in primary health care clinics, national response to the HIV and SRH needs of AGYW need to be prioritized. It is for this reason that AGYW is a key focus in this study. This study was conducted in Vulindlela, in the uMgungundlovu district in KwaZulu-Natal. This area reports high levels of HIV infection, with notable high fertility rates among AGYW. The study was conducted in 3 primary health care clinics that have initiated the AYFS programme, providing HIV and SRH care to AGYW. This study has three aims: (1) to investigate whether primary health care clinics offer youth-friendly HIV and SRH services to AGYW (2) to assess the current strategies employed in primary health care clinics to make HIV and SRH services adolescent youth-friendly and (3) to explore the potential of adolescent youth-friendly services in influencing HIV and SRH care among AGYW. This study is framed by the culture-centered approach (CCA) in understanding AGYW’s experiences when accessing HIV and SRH services in primary health care clinics. CCA is founded on the principles of listening to the voices of the margins that have hitherto been unheard in policy and programming circles. Purnell’s cultural competency model (CC) of health care nurses is also crucial for AYFS to effective among AGYW. This model encourages health care nurses to understand the heritage and culture in which their patients come from in order to provide acceptable and suitable HIV and SRH services. A participatory action research design was adopted, where data collection was threefold: a PhotoVoice workshop, focus group discussion and individual interviews. Key findings from this study highlighted that lack of congruent care, administration, time management, shortage of infrastructure and health care nurses negative attitudes were identified as the main deficits to AGYW SRH care clinic. However, AYFS in primary health care clinics could encourage HIV and SRH care among AGYW. Having younger health care nurses at the clinic was one strategy that AGYW alluded to in this study. AGYW also mentioned that having a separate building for AYFS would improve their adherence to HIV and SRH services like HIV testing, family planning and antenatal care. This study highlighted the need for greater understanding of the socio-cultural perceptions of health care workers’ perceptions of adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and the provision of HIV and SRH services. This study found that HIV and SRH services are currently not youth-friendly for AGYW across all three clinics in which the study was conducted. AGYW described that the clinic structure does not have enough space to, and therefore hinders their privacy at the clinic. Health care nurses attitudes and the lack of communication between AGYW and nurses at the clinic were some of the key findings in this study. On the contrary, health care nurses find it challenging to focus one patient at the clinic because of shortage of clinical staff and administrative staff.
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    News covering in the online press media during the ANC elective conference of December 2017.
    (2019) Muringa, Tigere Paidamoyo.; McCracken, Donal Patrick.
    Online press plays an imperative role in the legitimation of ideas, individuals, events and interpretations. Evidence suggests that news media play a significant role in legitimising and de-legitimising political candidates, particularly in the period leading to and after elections. There is increased interest in recent studies in the field of media framing, legitimation and de-legitimising of political candidates. While scholars provide useful insights on prospective media use of frames to de-popularise political leaders, up to now, studies have not gone beyond explaining the frames used by the news media. Little effort has been made to understand the relationship between media frames and the different discursive practices that affect the construction of such frames. Drawing on Van Gorp's (2007) framing theory and Foucault's (1980) concept of discourse power/knowledge to investigate news coverage in the South African online press, this thesis examined the frames used by News24 and IOL to legitimise and de-legitimise election candidates during their reporting of the 54th National Congress of the African National Congress. Using the national congress as a case study in point, qualitative archival data consisting of 100 news articles were retrieved from online archives of New24 and IOL. The information was analysed to assess how the content reported was framed to legitimise or de-legitimise Cyril Ramaphosa and Nkosazana Dhlamini-Zuma's political leadership qualities both at the national and political party level. Through a critical discourse analysis approach, six broad frames were thematically organised and presented as evidence on how news frames were constructed through culturally constituted communication artefacts. The study found that the reports by both, News24 and IOL were heavily influenced by the prevailing societal discourses that shaped politics and economy in the period of their construction. Notably, this thesis reveals how both presses used similar frames in their reporting. Even though they used similar frames, there were significant differences in approaches that were used by IOL and News24 in reporting on Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and Cyril Ramaphosa. As a result, this study contributes to the body of knowledge, by confirming how the press evokes cultural discourses when reporting on political candidates, to remind readers and allow them to interpret issues and topics using the culturally constructed reality as a frame of reference.
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    Bleaching Durban: forced removals of formal Black urban settlements in central Durban (1963-1985)
    (2019) Rosenberg, Leonard Glenn.; McCracken, Donal Patrick.
    The living, cultural, political and commercial urban space, occupied by the collective of African, Indian and Coloured people, referred to as a Black presence in this study, was distinct yet “invisible” as possible to the privileged racial group, during the colonial and apartheid periods. This invisibility is reflected in Durban’s urban history narrative, particularly its spatial development and built environment. The urban space and built environment perceived to be for Whites, has been documented, visually illustrated, its heroes celebrated and architecture preserved, whilst the “invisible” Black presence was first marginalised, then finally “bleached” from central Durban by the process of forced removals. This omission and marginalisation creates the general impression that Blacks did not occupy urban space and were not part of the evolution of this port city, apart from the Grey Street “Indian quarter”. The “bleaching” or forced removals in central Durban, conceived as urban space for Whites, started in earnest in the 1960s and continued until the mid-1980s, yet this socio-spatial re-organisation of the city has been neglected and thus largely undocumented. Although some studies have since examined Durban’s multicultural character and composition during the colonial and apartheid periods, these studies have focused on either the African or Indian urban experience, with a paucity of information on Coloureds and the subject of forced removals. In addition, these studies focused on specific aspects such as residential, traders or workers’ issues, resulting in a racially fragmented and incomplete picture of what a collective Black urban presence consisted of, before and after forced removals. Built environments are shaped by a past which celebrated some of its “monuments and markings”, whilst omitting some of that past (Knowles 2003: 97). “Race making is a spatial practice, and space contains important information about racial grammar as forms of social practice to which race gives rise” (Knowles, 2003: 80). This study examines the spatial evolution of Durban and demonstrates the connection between space and race. The spatial practice of ‘race making’ is demonstrated by an examination of White attitudes and legislation introduced that enabled the spatial clustering of Blacks into undesirable spaces, during the development of Durban from the 1870s to the 1980s. Various legislative measures are identified over different periods in the city’s development, which enabled the spatial practice of separating Blacks from White settlers, socially and spatially, before finally being removed from the central city from the 1960s. Different legislative measures were used to control the entry and occupation of urban space by Africans and Indians, and similarly, their removal was also achieved by the use of different legislation. The contribution that this thesis makes to Durban’s urban history is to identify the previously “invisible” living, educational, commercial, religion, sports and political space, occupied by Blacks. The Black presence is made visible by identifying, describing and illustrating what this space consisted of, where, when and how it was created and removed from the White city. Also, of importance to the urban history narrative of Durban, is the use of maps, diagrams and photographic material, which not only depict the character and architectural qualities of the urban Black presence, but also integrates it within the spatial development of the city until the mid-1980s.
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    Networked participatory cultures in Lusaka, Zambia: how teenagers experience social media and mobile phones.
    (2019) Bukowa, Brenda.; Steenfeldt-Kristensen, Sarah Elizabeth.
    Teenagers’ networked participatory culture is influenced by the way they interact, self-present themselves, establish and maintain friendships, and the way they coordinate their day to day lives. Livingstone and Third (2017) have argued that these have contributed to teenagers’ pervasive access and use of social media and mobile phones. This study adopted a qualitative approach and an interpretivist paradigm. It adopted Focus Group Discussions [FGDs]. The study sampled a population of teenagers aged 15 to 18 years drawn from six government funded secondary schools in Lusaka, Zambia. Analysis of the FGDs and in-depth interview data using thematic analysis showed that teenagers in Lusaka engage in networked participatory culture. Firstly, the findings reveal that teenagers’ engagement with networked participatory culture is closely linked to the concept of identity and self-representation. The study further reveals that engagement on social media and mobile phones contributes to identity construction through the process of creation of profiles, displaying networks composed of connections, displaying pictures, links, music preference and other personal information. Three key findings emerged from the data on networked participatory culture using mobile phones and social media. Firstly, teenagers consider ownership of smart phones as a key determinant of their participation. The participants reported that absolute ownership necessitated greater privacy and control over information and people they communicated with. Secondly, it was established that the smart phone’s primary purposes were for building social networks, content prosumption and for communication purposes. Thirdly, the study revealed that teenagers were motivated to access and use social media for variant reasons. These include self-expression, gaining freedom and independence to produce content, a need to satisfy an urge to gain popularity, to improve on their personal knowledge and skills, and to cultivate a sense of community belonging and networking in virtual communities. More broadly, the study makes an important contribution to literature as it relates to inter-nationalizing media and communication studies’ (Willems and Mano, 2017: 4; Mutsvairo, 2018; Thussu, 2009; Curran and Park, 2000; Wang, 2011) as well as internet studies and audience studies (Goggin and McLelland, 2009; Butsch and Livingstone, 2014). To be specific, the research makes a novel scholarly contribution to literature on the social and cultural issues influencing networked participatory culture amongst teenagers in Lusaka, Zambia.
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    ‘Triangular trust or mistrust?': social trust, political trust and news media credibility in the context of Ethiopia.
    (2018) Seid, Abdi Ali.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    Access to and use of the media by the public, including public perceptions of media credibility, are important elements in grasping the role of the media and why it exists (Wanta and Hu, 1994). The mass media play a critical role in socio-economic and political transformation of societies in the sense that they significantly contribute to shaping and reflecting relations between the State and society and elites and the public (O’Neil, 1998). In developing countries like Ethiopia, the media also have a significant role in nation-building and political transformation. The success of the mass media, therefore, depends on its credibility and believability in the eyes of members of the public. These two pillars of media existence constitute the foundation for public trust and confidence (Garrison, 1992). News media credibility is considered as an essential element of effective communication (Rayudu, 1998). In this regard, and as Steyn (1996) observed, credibility is the media's most cherished possession which allows them to be worthy of belief. Media and society are intertwined with each other (McQuail, 2005) and the issue of trust or mistrust is not bound, nor does it exist only in the circle of the media environment. Rather, it is mirrored in all facets of society, including the socio-political arena. Mindful of this, my thesis focuses on exploring the intertwined relationships between and among social trust (particularized and generalized trust), political/institutional trust and news media credibility from perspectives of the public. The thesis assesses public trust and confidence in the media, media access and media usage patterns within selected independent variables, i.e. region, residential area, gender, age, income, education and political affiliation. Given the fact that there is no universally-agreed conceptual framework for analyzing levels of social trust, political trust and media credibility, including the triangulation of trust or mistrust, I used a combination of proven theories and approaches in analyzing respondents perceptions of social trust, political trust and media credibility. In assessing public media access, exposure, consumption patterns and preferences, I used the integrated model of audience choice, which is the new version of the media uses and gratifications theory. My findings revealed that ownership of various household media hardware, media exposure, motives for media choice and use, including the social context of media use, cannot be not be attributed to any single socio-demographic factor. Rather, a combination of multiple factors, such as residence, level of education, level of income, availability of communication networks/infrastructure and suitability of one type of media hardware against others, all variously influence ownership of household media hardware, media exposure, motives for media choice and use, including the social context of media use. I also applied the social and cultural theory and the institutional performance theory as a way of determining levels and reciprocity of social trust and political trust and media credibility. Findings indicated that there were low levels of social trust and political trust in general among respondents. The other finding was that there were variations in levels of social trust (particularized trust and generalized trust), political trust and media credibility across respondents’ socio-demographic factors. In analysing levels of trust or mistrust, political views and ideological orientation of members of the public are significant. Political ideas and beliefs of the public are reflected in their day-to-day life and, invariably, influence their assessment and perceptions of media credibility. My findings further indicated that there were relationships between and among social trust, political trust and media credibility. Triangulation of trust and mistrust, however, varied across variables. Respondents in Tigray, for instance, had highest trust ratings for particularized trust, political trust and trust in national news media. Conversely, respondents in Addis Ababa had the least particularized trust, political trust and confidence in national news media and the highest trust in international news media. These findings may be useful in prompting further research in the extent to which social trust, political trust and media credibility in Ethiopia are entwined and have reciprocal interrelationships and dependencies.
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    The potential and contribution of Facebook in HIV/AIDS prevention among young people in Uganda.
    (2018) Kakooza, Fred.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    Facebook usage in political communication in Ghana: the case of two political parties.
    (2019) Boateng, Akwasi Bosompem.; McCracken, Donal Patrick.
    The emergence and spread of social media are changing activities in many walks of life. These technologies have ushered in a digital era that has transformed communication, engagements and relationships. Social media have revolutionised how political communication and politics, particularly electoral processes are also done. This study is centred in Ghana and investigated how Facebook is used in intra-party elections by New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress. Since the New Patriotic Party took over the reign of political power in 2017, there has been a considerable rise in political vigilantism in Ghana, which some have attributed to lack of direct access to parties and officials due to limited time given to stakeholders during “phone-in” segments on political programmes in traditional media. There are also debates as to whether social media have improved political communication and participation in Africa. More so, studies conducted on political use of social media in Ghana have not explored their appropriation in intra-party elections. The purpose of this study is to shed new light on the debate regarding social media usage in political communication in Africa, examining how Facebook is appropriated by political parties in Ghana. The study employed qualitative and quantitative techniques (mixed methods approach) in sequential triangulation of interviews and content analysis. Underpinned by interpretative and pragmatic paradigms, this study conducted interviews with communication officials of New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress. Contents of Facebook posts of the parties were analysed to corroborate or dispute data collected from interviews. Observations were also made from visits and activities of parties during data collection. The transcribed data was thematically organised for the study to analyse and present in narrative forms. Data from content analysis of Facebook was also coded and put into figures, numbers and tabular formats. This study anchored on the theories of technology appropriation, relationship management, and agenda setting. Generally, this study indicated that political parties in Ghana particularly New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress use social media especially Facebook in political communication and intra-party elections. However, the parties were particularly using Facebook for public information purposes instead of establishing mutually beneficial relationships through interactive engagements and two-way symmetrical communication on the social networking site, or perhaps not making good use of Facebook especially in internal elections. Parties considered and delivered social media communication on ad-hoc value without concerted efforts and political public relations strategies to maximise potentials. Inasmuch as political parties in Ghana demonstrated the desire to establish relationships by creating pages on vii Facebook to get closer to stakeholders and the public, they could not achieve this. They have focused their attention on passive traditional communication without reconsidering their activities to improve social media use especially “Facebooking” for interactions and mutually beneficial engagements and relationships. This study suggests that political parties improve interactions and conversations with stakeholders. Parties need to create political public relations units of communication professionals with expertise and skills to advice and manage social media engagements as specialised activities to extend mutually beneficial relationships. Communication officials of parties have to be trained in political public relations and social media for more knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with these new forms of communication technologies to harness their utility.
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    (Re)positioning communication for enhanced multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment adherence in South Africa: towards an integrated communication model for young women.
    (2019) Mugoni, Petronella Chipo.; Lubombo, Musara.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    Tuberculosis (TB) is a significant public health threat in South Africa, which has been the leading cause of natural mortality over many years (Statistics South Africa 2018; Statistics South Africa 2017; ENCA 2015a). Although TB has been largely eradicated in the Global North and available literature explains how this was achieved, in developing countries like South Africa incidence of not only TB, but drug-resistant forms of the disease continue to grow (Shah et al. 2017). There are many explanations for these trends, including unavailability of less noxious anti-TB medications, serious side effects and lengthy treatment timelines, drug stock-outs, context-determined structural, socioeconomic, cultural and gender-based barriers to treatment adherence and inadequate or ineffective patient and community education about the disease (Shringarpure et al. 2016). Concerns occur on the backdrop of health systems that overly privilege biomedical responses to TB, to the detriment of all other interventions. Scholars protest that ‘The TB literature is written almost entirely from a biomedical perspective, while recent studies show that it is imperative to understand lay perceptions to determine why people who seek treatment may stop taking treatment’ (Cramm et al. 2010:2). Extant literature acknowledges the unsuitability, on its own, of the biomedical approach to reducing burdens of TB in epidemic countries like South Africa (Daftary et al. 2015). This recognition is accompanied by impetus to develop and apply theory-based strategies to encourage long-term adherence to TB treatment. Scholars insist that there are several health behaviour theories with potential to improve understanding in this area (Daftary et al. 2015; Munro et al. 2007). This research responds to the question of how health communication and promotion strategies can practically contribute to improving multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) treatment adherence and clinical outcomes among a defined vulnerable population in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. It aims to contribute knowledge to the under-researched area of non-biomedical responses to sub-optimal adherence to long-term DR-TB treatment in high TB/HIV burden areas (O’Donnell et al. 2017). Primary qualitative data was collected through focus group discussions and key respondent interviews with 20 purposefully selected participants in eThekwini Metro, KwaZulu-Natal, from March to September 2018. Ten of the participants comprised the case study of this research; culture-sharing young women, many of them isiZulu-speaking, aged 18 to 34 years from low socioeconomic communities being treated for MDR-TB at one public hospital in the Metro. The study proposes a ‘how to’ for MDR-TB health promotion in high burden areas. vii It finds that vulnerable young women's sub-optimal adherence to MDR-TB treatment is exacerbated by patriarchy, stigma and cultural beliefs and practices. Culturally prescribed family collaborative approaches to health-seeking among Zulu people urge for the incorporation of female elders, intimate male partners and older children into young women’s treatment. In contexts like eThekwini Metro where many MDR-TB patients demonstrate strong cultural beliefs and practices, emphasising biomedical treatment for individual patients as the denominator of treatment requires reconsideration. Findings also suggest that MDR-TB programmes would benefit from borrowing from HIV communication interventions by implementing standardised individual, couples’ and family counselling at intervals during the nine to 36 months of treatment to enhance patients’ adherence. Consideration should also be given to engaging traditional health practitioners as important partners in health promotion. Further, educating patients and communities about MDR-TB treatment should be bolstered through health promotion and communication via school curricula, culturally proximate television and radio (soap operas, dramas and hard news) programmes and Facebook and WhatsApp. Social media is important because it allows for low-cost group, one-on-one and anonymous exchanges and discussions of health information.