The Way of How African Government Uses Advertising As A Weapon Against Media Freedom

National governments remain the single biggest source of earnings for information businesses in Africa. In Rwanda, by way of instance, a staggering 85-90 percent of marketing revenue comes in the public sector.

In Kenya, it is estimated that 30 percent of newspaper revenue comes in authorities advertisements.

At a court, allegedly delivered to all authorities accounting officials, the directive has been granted that state agencies and departments could just promote in My.Gov – a government paper and internet portal.

It is hard to not characterize the withdrawal of state advertisements from commercial websites as punitive. With this revenue stream papers are most likely to fold.

Worse still, attempts to draw government advertisements from commercial media could be translated as a worrying means to undermine the freedom of expression.

Starving news websites of earnings is a way of indirect state management. However, to fully understand the connection between authorities spend online and press freedom it is important to bring a historical standpoint.

Ever since that time, most African governments have grown worried about their inability to restrain the neighborhood news schedule, much less articulate government coverage.

For authorities in nations like Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and much more lately Tanzania, controlling the information agenda is considered a way to remain in power. Views which compete with the country position tend to throw as legitimizing the resistance agenda.

This is a portion of a much wider strategy for political management which Africanist historians and political scientists have predicted the “ideology of sequence”. This relies on the grounds that dissent is a danger to nation building and must hence be diminished.

The story was popularized by the majority of post-independence African authorities and highlighted through incessant calls for that which they needed to call “unity”.

Back in Kenya, former president Daniel Moi even chased his own political doctrine of “peace, unity and love”. Citizens were expected to take this story. Dissenting views were undermined via state-controlled media like Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and papers like the Kenya Times.

The present political climate on the continent will be premised on constitutional safeguards such as the security of free speech that make such punishments improbable in the current moment.

Many nations now have institutional safeguards including rather powerful judicial systems capable of resisting the tyranny of nude state repression.

Consequently, the press is regulated in subtler approaches and its own violence is milder. It is against this backdrop that I translate the withdrawal of authorities adverts in the business press in Kenya.

Controlling Media Budgets

In Kenya, the conclusion followed a particular cabinet meeting that agreed a new paper would be started to pronounce the government schedule more correctly.

The government also contended that the transfer was a part of an initiative to curtail runaway spending by decreasing advert invest in Kenya’s mainstream press and directing all of the cash to the new name.

A similar movement has been made in South Africa a year ago once the government’s communications arm declared it would scale government advertisements in local industrial press.

Rather, advertisements could be carried from the government paper Vuk’uzenzele. The conclusion withdrew an estimated $30 million in the nation’s commercial paper market.

The South African authorities also promised that the movement was made to decrease government spending. However, critics have contended the choice was made to penalize a media outlet that has been especially critical of President Jacob Zuma’s presidency.

In both states the choices have struck a particularly hard time for the press sector, providing authorities with all the ideal tool with which to control the media.

Can A Free Press Live

Industrial information media is moving through a period of unprecedented emergency. The old business models are not able to sustain media surgeries as crowds embrace new methods of absorbing news.

Over this, bulk audiences are growing smaller. Newspapers particularly have not managed to adapt to the shifting profile of the old versus the new paper reader.

The result has been that papers are not as appealing to advertisers. Therefore, they must rely far more on state cash and patronage for survival.

To sidestep state management commercial websites in Africa must rethink their business units and enhance their revenue streams.

It will not be an easy road but non-state media should also work hard to interrupt this re-emerging story of “sequence”. Nation states can’t revert to the dark times when government policy was singular and other viewpoints were quieted or delegitimized.

Local Newspapers Are ‘Important Service’. They Deserve A Government Rescue Package Too

We’ve needed to immediately integrate words such as “self-isolation” and “social distancing” to our daily language to browse it.

“Crucial service” is just another one. In reality, it’s among the most frequently used and somewhat perplexing keywords to emerge out of our leaders’ press conferences. This is because it’s taken on new meanings and has been defined in certain ways.

What exactly constitutes important news and data services?

Small Papers Closing and Moving Digital-Only

They’ll wind up digital-only products.

The effect of COVID-19 on the neighborhood print titles came along with this toll on media in the refusal of electronic platforms to cover publishers to utilize their own content.

The News Corp announcement is just one of many statements in recent months as dozens of community and local newspapers have closed throughout the nation, by the Torres Strait into Gawler, South Australia, and a lot more from the united states, UK and New Zealand.

This information has made the headlines amid the coronavirus catastrophe, and there’s been little discussion of a rescue package for papers which have closed their doors in these days.

As investigators project an ARC Linkage job on networking creation in partnership with Country Press Australia, our focus is currently focused on understanding what qualifies as an “essential” information and data support.

We’re also analyzing the lengths to which Australians are ready to go to secure their media in the financial devastation stemming from the coronavirus.

If papers are to innovate and prosper beyond the pandemic, they have to be acknowledged and affirmed as an important support.

For the authorities, essential information appears to be limited to exactly what it informs a elite group of journalists in Canberra press conventions and exactly what it places on its own “COVID-19 crucial information” site.

On the other hand, the government has established a huge social networking advertising effort on coronavirus; around the flip side, he’s saying platforms like Twitter have been “breeding grounds for gossip and crap”.

This inconsistency and confusion simply increases the doubt about just what the government believes “essential information” stations that individuals must visit for reliable news.

What could be done to shield local papers?

That which we already understand is that neighborhood journalism (especially papers) things to the general public. And at this time, local audiences want professionally produced news that’s mutually and socially relevant.

On a nationwide scale, “essential coronavirus data” can be obtained via government sites and important news outlets.

But if you reside in regional or distant Australia, you will need news on the regional companies and services which were affected by the virus and disease rates specific for your own patch. Local newspapers also provide stories regarding how friends and acquaintances are dealing and encouraging each other.

Intervention is required to safeguard these papers out of disappearing altogether. In addition, we indicate the government should think about making paper subscriptions (print and electronic) tax-deductible.

As small companies, many regional papers will be qualified for present tax relief like the JobKeeper allowances made to maintain their workers in work.

However, our early research suggests there are different means of governments and major businesses to get behind rural and regional newspapers and possess them services that are essential.

Government marketing spending has fallen dramatically over the last five years across nation papers. This had represented a significant chunk of the earnings. Rather, authorities advertisements funds tend to be redirected to societal media with very little regard or idea of the results from the broader media ecology.

Such communication plans overlook the fact that the neighborhood printed paper remains a vital support for many in nearby communities, especially the elderly that are arguably at risk from COVID-19.

Assessing these news outlets must be in the forefront of any authorities communication strategy whenever there’s a very important requirement to keep people informed and connected, and imitation information and misinformation is rife.

Meanwhile, Australian communication and media academics will also be sending mixed messages. They’re calling for the survival of public interest journalism whilst accepting research funds from the predatory news programs Google and Facebook, that are commonly recognized for ruining the health of information ecosystems across the world.

Social Measurement of Local Newspapers

In case coronavirus has an upside down, it’s reminding us of the critical relevance of societal order and link at both individual and institutional levels.

Among the most obvious pictures from the coronavirus policy in Italy over the last couple of months has become the obituary and death notices from the Lombardy area, highlighting the continuing central role the regional media plays important rituals and lifestyle events.

The papers under threat throughout the catastrophe connect people beyond issues of politics and general public attention.

Our study indicates that, in actuality, it’s frequently the social dimension of those papers that matters most. They’re also bridges into the regional advertisers profoundly influenced by this emergency, such as retail stores, restaurants and cafes.

The Ghanaian Newspaper Does A Pretty Good Job Reporting Mental Health Problems

The Ghanaian Newspaper Does A Pretty Good Job Reporting Mental Health Problems

If you would like to understand how a nation views emotional illness, have a peek at how its media reports about the problem. That’s the view of several scholars that assert that newspapers, radio, and television sway negative thoughts about mental well-being. Others indicate it is the other way round: the media only reflects what society already believes.

To perform this we analyzed posts about psychological well-being that seemed in the nation’s papers between 2000 and 2015. There were a range of improvements about mental health in Ghana during this period, especially in relation of laws.

Our analysis indicates that Ghana’s papers are mostly doing a fantastic job when it comes to reporting regarding psychological wellness. Many posts showed a dedication to teaching readers about the matter. Articles also emphasized how people who have mental health disorders continue to be stigmatized in society.

There were, nevertheless, areas of concern. There were several cases where we discovered papers weren’t disseminating accurate information regarding mental health. This has to be dealt with. Maybe mental health specialists could be brought into Ghana’s newsrooms to educate journalists concerning how to record on the relevant problems. These specialists could also be used as funds for fact checking.

What We Found

We chose papers since they’re a favorite source of advice to get Ghanaian’s. All these have been awareness, advocacy, comment, suicide, gifts (and financing), and faith. Here’s what we discovered.

Awareness: The posts within this class sought to give information regarding mental health ailments and available treatment choices. The difficulty was that some left false promises or misidentified emotional health problems. It is very important to point out that just 1.8 percent of posts in our sample supplied misinformation. Nonetheless, it’s an issue that has to be dealt with.

Though the columnist’s information contested the author to socialize with girls, it neglected to admit mental health consequences — specifically stress.

These posts highlighted obstacles to implementing mental health policies, as well as also the administrative hurdles that prevent mental health providers from being enlarged.

Comment: These bits provided one author’s view on mental health problems. 1 instance was an opinion piece about a continuing investigation into psychiatric hospital. It revealed how papers can be utilized as a stage to present social commentary on psychological health related topics, and also to remind readers that mental illness is part of normal life.

Comment pieces also exemplified the media’s role in keeping people agencies accountable on problems that would otherwise be curbed.

Other posts aimed to increase awareness about suicide.

We also discovered that columnists played an significant part in the lives of the subscribers as police about suicide. The columnist provided useful services and resources for your author.

Together, these posts exemplified the very fact of suicide at Ghana.

Donations: a subset of posts reported on contributions by organisations and individuals to psychiatric associations. These included contributions of time, money or in-kind services.

The tendency of local philanthropy represented the low financing readily available to support the performance of psychiatric associations, the public awareness of the financing gap, along with the public’s willingness to supply resources.

Religion: Other posts researched Christianity as a way of mental wellness self-care. The intersection of faith with psychological well-being isn’t surprising since most Ghananians are spiritual.


This certainly wasn’t an exhaustive summary of public understanding sources about mental health in Ghana. Similar study could concentrate on television or radio policy, for example.

Nevertheless, it gives a useful beginning point for understanding that the type of messages most Ghanaians are becoming about mental wellness.