Martin Scott

Martin Scott

I am an associate professor in Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia, UK. I am the author of 'Media and Development' and study media freedom and humanitarian news.

Location UK


  • That's an excellent question. Its really important to ask about how consent is established. See here for a recent scandal about this...

  • (We are saving that question for week 3!)

  • Its a good point about how the concept of 'slum' is understood. Perhaps it is being challenged by this name?

  • Thank you @SébastienNègre for your comment and reflection. Yoou are so right to point out that a lot of organisations CLAIM to focus on the community or be participatpory - but they are not. Often it is an illusion - and what should be progressive / power-challening ideas end up being co-opted. Thats why it always important to think about who actually holds...

  • Thank you. I wonder if he has to think about who will pay him for his images - and if that might influence the kinds of shots he takes

  • Thank you for your comment. Do you have an example in mind? There are so many threats to community media - from government interference to economic threats

  • Thank you @MatheusNdingoya - you are completely right that this is one of the main pays that political control over community radio happens - through the threat, even, of removing licenses.

  • Yes - as we discuss in one of the later steps - this shapes eveything.

  • Thanks so much, @SharletMGeorge - i have heard this being said before. Can you tell us more about how community media is being used? what does 'success' look like?

  • Thanks @ClementeO I really like your phrase - "we are amplifying the chances of creating dialogue". The emphasis is on "chances" as its not certain that any story or image will have the impact we hope it will

  • Thank you @ClementeO - though if i might be contrary - there are also many other very powerful images which have not changed the dialogue of a nation. I wonder what helps to determine when an image will have an impact... not just the qualities of the image itself?

  • An excellent point @RossBiggam - how to cut through when there is so much information out there. I think this helps explain why social media does not automatically democratise media consumption / the public sphere. Those larger, more powerful / established organisations are better able to devote the time and resources required to distribute their content...

  • These are wonderful examples, thank you @RossBiggam I especially like your point about plurality, and in contexts where the state owns or controls much of the media, commercial media provide a really important alternative, even if they too are also influenced by political/economic interests.

  • Thank you for sharing this story and perspective @GbengaOgundare That is terrible to hear about your colleague. I wonder if you think that photography will always expose bad governance. Even if images are taken of problems, what else needs to be in place for this to lead to effective change? Responsive governance? Effective political parties and civil society?

  • Thanks @RossBiggam . They have screenings but also on social. See here... "Hand in hand with our Film production and Training programme, Slum TV exhibits its films in different forums and locations mainly the Goethe Institutte, Mathare slums and in other parts of Nairobi county. The aim of this programme is to raise people's awareness both nationally and...

  • Thank you @SereneDardari I agree with you. The implication, then, is that the focus and purpose of this organisation is directed outside of the community - and it might also be harder to sustain if it relies on video with higher production values. This is your point about accessibility and inclusivity.

  • Yes, I agree @LiveFanavoll that the target audience appears to be those outside the area. I just think this is worth highlighting as it carries implications for their funding model / the content they produce / the production values they might have to meet. It also makes me wonder, though, if it leads them to focus more on the 'positive' stories - and if there...

  • This is a wonderful example, @SereneDardari Thank you so much for sharing. Can i ask - what is it about the content that you find so inspiring?

  • Thank you @MatheusNdingoya I wonder if anyone reading this can think of any exceptions to this. Commercial media, which do serve a public function? One example was already given in a comment below.

  • Thank you very much @LiveFanavoll Personally, I agree with you - that its important to recognise our own backgrounds / personality will inevitably shape our reporting. BUT I wouldnt want to take this argument too far to say that 'everything is therefore just an opinion'. The pursuit of truth and objectivity is still very important.

  • Wonderful examples @MatheusNdingoya - thank you. So this is about journalism and its 'watchdog' function. Though that is usually attributed to national media - so its interesting that your example is about international journalism (Al Jazeera) promoting accountability / tackling corruption.

  • Thank you @MatheusNdingoya - i wonder if you can think of examples where this happens? Awareness of what?

  • Thank you for the introduction @KaushalyaK - it sounds like you are doing really important work

  • Welcome @MatheusNdingoya . Windhoek is a wonderful city!

  • Thanks so much for this summary @GbengaOgundare It sounds like you think these radio stations play a really important role - and a commercial model is the only way they can fund their work.

  • Welcome @JohannaMack - this sounds like an excellent PhD

  • Great! So a classic watchdog / accountability function for the media, as part of media development

  • This sounds like very important work, @SereneDardari Welcome to the course.

  • It sounds like you have a very relevant and wide ranging experiences

  • I wonder what you and others see as the solution to this? Would stronger economic / funding models allow journalists to be less dependent on 'people with high profiles', for example?

  • This is a really important point @AntonWokieMbinge . You seem to be arguing that the strength of media houses is only one issue. Politicians and the wider political culture in the country also determines the role that media can play.

  • Thank you for this detailed comment @AntonWokieMbinge . It seems you agree with the video that ownership of media is really important for determining its social function. I wonder if others agree, or have similar or different examples / experiences?

  • Thank you @ClementeO for this reflection. I wonder if you or others think it is every possibly to fully represent the 'truth of reality' within media coverage?

  • Thank you for highlighting the importance of 'plurality' @ClementeO .

  • Thank you for introducing the idea of objectivity in to this discussion. I wonder if others feel that this will solve the problem (or not)?

  • Thank you for your comment, @GbengaOgundare . This helps us understand that judging media coverage as being either 'positive' or 'negative' in tone - often misses the more important point - such as the interests it is serving. You summarise this well.

  • Thank you, @LouKnights For those who are not aware of this theory, might you be willing to summarise it for us - and say why this video reminded you of it?

  • Thank you for raising this points, @AntonWokieMbinge . In my mind, i would think of much of this as being about 'media development' - or the capacity of the media within a society - including issues such as access and journalistic professionalism, but also journalistic independence - all of which you highlight.

  • Thank you for highlighting the importance of both participatory communication - but also media development / representations.

  • Thank you so much for your thoughts, @LouKnights . All of these things are important - but i noticed that you reference a range of different kinds of 'media'. First, media can be about fundraising. Second, you describe it more as being a range of different platforms / technologies. Third, you then refer to 'media' as journalism. All of these are important -...

  • That is great to hear.

  • We hope so too