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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19098

Title: Manufacturing Conflict? An Ethnographic Study of the News Community in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Other Titles: Les journalistes ivoiriens, des fabriquants de conflits? Une ethnographie de la communauté journalistique d’Abidjan en Côte d’Ivoire
Authors: Théroux-Bénoni, Lori-Anne
Advisor: Davidson Kalmar, Ivan
Department: Anthropology
Keywords: media anthropology
Côte d'Ivoire
conflict
journalism
agency
Rwandan Paradigm
Issue Date: 23-Feb-2010
Abstract: This ethnographic study explores the experiences of Ivorian journalists in the context of the 2002-2009 crisis in Abidjan, the economic capital city of Côte d’Ivoire. I present material on the political affiliations of newspapers, the structure of the news industry, the attitudes of journalists, and certain aspects regarding the reception and dissemination of media texts in the streets of Abidjan. My interests lie in analysing the origins and the impacts of the accusations to which journalists of the written press are being subjected concerning their role in the Ivorian conflict. I explore how the crisis has been constructed and construed by and through media agents. I focus on the reflexive moments of journalists and on what their metadiscourses reveal about the context of news production in Côte d’Ivoire. Data was collected through participant-observation and interviews over 18 months of fieldwork in 2003, 2004-2005 and 2006 mainly in three newsrooms in Abidjan. This dissertation questions the emphasis placed upon the role of media in African conflicts, which I term the Rwandan paradigm. The Rwandan paradigm is the reductionist notion that mass media indoctrination plays a decisive role in mobilizing African audiences to commit acts of communal violence. Ultimately, I suggest two avenues to broaden our understanding of the intersection between communication and conflict: 1) a recognition of the complex agency of media producers and their audience; 2) an exploration of alternative media and public spaces.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19098
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Anthropology - Doctoral theses

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