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To train a watchdog. Media development, statebuilding and measurement in South Sudan

Tomiak, Kerstin 2017. To train a watchdog. Media development, statebuilding and measurement in South Sudan. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Attempts to build a free press are routinely made in countries experiencing violent conflict or the aftermath thereof. A free press, defined as a press that holds governments accountable, is thought of as an important part of an emerging democracy. The role of media development projects is nevertheless under-researched. Most examinations of such projects are done by practitioners active in media development. This thesis contributes to the emerging academic literature on media development and its role in statebuilding. It does so by investigating media development in the new state of South Sudan. Ethnographic observations, a social survey, and unstructured interviews have been applied during a fieldwork spell in Juba, which lasted from November 2014 to August 2015. The application of three methods allowed for an in-depth investigation of the South Sudanese understanding of media, which differed significantly from the aims of western media experts implementing media development projects. Furthermore, the thesis compares the strengths and weaknesses, and the results delivered, by each utilised research method, and thus investigates how these methods perform in a country of the global South. I argue that the various understandings of media in South Sudan differ significantly from the thinking and practices of western media practitioners. In South Sudan, this resulted in a deteriorating relationship between the country’s government and its international donors and led to problems for the newly trained journalists. Furthermore, my results show the limitations of using just one method in a country of the global South; and they provide an argument for bricolage, a research approach that combines perspectives, theories, and methods, when researching policy-relevant questions in environments where the researcher is not a cultural native.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Acceptance
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Uncontrolled Keywords: Media, Media Development, South Sudan, Research Methods
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 2017
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2021 11:39

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