• ‘The African Listener’: State-Controlled Radio, Subjectivity, and Agency in Colonial and Post-Colonial Zambia

    Robert Heinze (see profile)
    Africa, History, Mass media, Nationalism
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Zambia, African history, Audience and reception studies, Media history, Radio
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    Many analyses of media in Africa and elsewhere have emphasized the change in the relation between producers and consumers of media content that new media such as mobile telephony and the internet apparently have instigated (Lister et al. 2009; Ekine 2010).1 Whereas in ‘old’ (mass) media the two areas were clearly separated and producers determined the content of what was to be consumed, new media have enabled consumers to enter the production sphere by giving them access to the means of production. Although media theorists since the publication of Stuart Hall’s seminal 1973 ‘encoding/decoding’ article have pointed out the significant role of reception and the relative liberty of consumers to interpret media content in their own way, the fact that users of new media have access to the means of production led some analysts to see the advent of the ‘produser’ (Bruns 2008; Ellcessor 2012). However, a look at the history of radio demonstrates that listeners in colonial and postcolonial African societies not only made sense of media content in their own way-which fits into Hall’s audience reception model-but also significantly influenced radio programming and the distribution of media content directly, and subverted the ideological intentions of colonial and postcolonial governments alike.
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    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    5 years ago
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