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Mass Communication and Sustainable Political Development in Africa: A Review of the Literature

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Author(s): Ephraim Okoro

Journal: Studies in Media and Communication
ISSN 2325-8071

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 49;
Date: 2012;
Original page

ABSTRACT
With the globalization of economies over the past two decades, there has been an increasing surge in Africa for strategic political and economic relationships. Unfortunately, the political systems in the continent present serious challenges to the rest of the world as they view the countries in Africa as politically unstable and economically unsustainable. In recent years, Africa’s political process, especially the electoral system, has been discredited as incapable of supporting a viable democracy and political governance. Current trends in Africa’s political development efforts in the twenty-first century clearly indicate that to achieve and sustain democratic transformation in the entire continent, the role of the mass media, especially the new media, is critical in the production and dissemination of news and political reforms. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the role of mass communication in the political development in contemporary Africa.  It specifically examines the relationship between political systems and the media in Africa, probes the strategic role of new media in the quest for sustainability of the political process, and discusses media’s contributions in encouraging citizens’ participation in political governance. The paper concludes with recommendations for integrating the role of the mass media in achieving political development and stability in the continent of Africa.
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