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

Activity

  • 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

  • Welcome @JeongminSun - we are glad to have you with us.

  • Certainly! @KylieN. Each of these sounds like perfect examples - reflecting a range of different kinds of PC - and reminding us that it can use a range of different media. The range of examples you give here suggest that some relate more to 'messaging' or have a stronger explicit purpose - while the purpose of the first ones is less immediately obvious - but...

  • Thank you for this excellent summary @DiahUtami

  • A great question. I guess it can still certainly be community media. Where ever the funding comes from, there are questions about influence and autonomy. But foreign governments support media for lots of reasons - sometimes for behaviour change communication, sometimes for media development, sometimes to target things like anti-radicalisation, and sometimes to...

  • This question of audiences is so important @GiasintaLivia Thank you. This reminds me of wider debates about funding for journalism which suggest that those most able to pay (or appealing to advertisers) will continue to get journalism made for them - leaving 'news deserts' amongst large parts of the rest of the audience.

  • Thank you @KylieN. I wonder if this focus on online content comes from donors, who have a different view of media and communications, and assumptions about 'modernity' which are often not relevant and perhaps even harmful

  • Soap operas are a great example @GiasintaLivia - though I am obliged to point out that there are also 'soap operas for social change' which intentionally try to shape social norms (about the role of women, for example) through entertainment education.

  • These are wonderful questions @DiahUtami I would say that both of these examples are just different kinds of community media. Both are seeking to support the community, but in quite different ways, with different target audiences. One works through dialogue and involvement of the community. The other prioritises representation, and challenging wider/ national...

  • 'It seems to me that rather than focus on the community voices, Slum TV tends to highlight its focus on covering the stories about the community attractively.' - this is the same feeling I have. This is about coverage OF the community for others - with higher production values than radio (with implications for sustainability etc. as you say). So in fact, these...

  • This is such an important point. for this reason radio is often more sustainable and accessible

  • Thank you @DiahUtami - I guess the conclusion from this, therefore, is that it is wrong to assume that privately owned media are always oriented only towards profit and cant also have social benefits - especially if they have owners who support this (or if they see a 'gap in the market' for doing this?!)

  • Great @StephenRamKissun - it should be a completely different premise of education and communication. Challenging, and difficult to think what that looks like in practice - but has inspired may projects and initiatives around the world.

  • Thank you @NoélinePreudhomme - though there is perhaps a danger of assuming that if you come from a community - you can inevitably speak for it. There are always issues of power and privilege within the community itself. Its not possible to tell from the video alone how that is playing out here. Perhaps Brian could get others in the community to take photos as...

  • Thanks @StephenRamKissun - ITs great to see you applying some of the key concepts to this example.

  • Thank you @StephenRamKissun I was talking to a student from Kenya about this the other day and she suggested there was a risk that this imagery itself might become a bit of a cliche - ie - too positive? that 'Kibera is not what you think' - reduced the complexity of Nairobi and Kenya. Is there a danger that tackling stereotypes can itself become stereotypical?

  • What a great example, @DiahUtami - do you have any suggesiton as to why private media is doing this is the agency of the owner or individuals? or is it more like a social enterprise - profit driven but with a social mission?

  • Thank you @SabinaOgunsanya Its interesting that the radio you used to listen to was community radio - but you werent aware of this (if I understand you correctly). I wonder why not? Do audiences (in general) not think about who owns the media they consume and how that might influence its content? And why might that be a problem? And what can we do about it?...

  • Precisely! A wonderful explanation @DiahUtami - and a healthy / important counter-argument to the pure positivity that often surrounds claims about the empowering potential of social media. It can empower - but who - is the question.

  • Excellent point. I wonder in which circumstances, or what kinds of photographers - SHOULD - pay the people they are photographing. This feeds into the question of consent. Perhaps its not appropriate here for Brian to be paying his subjects (or is it?) but in other contexts / cases it might well be.

  • Thank you for this analysis @NoélinePreudhomme I wonder which of these you think will be more likely to be financially sustainable?

  • Its an excellent question @LiamFrench - and makes me think about the target audience for these images - and the industry behind them. I wonder how powerful the agency of one person can be in re-shaping the system that produces certain kind of images. What do others think of @LiamFrench 's point?

  • Thank you for this reflection @AbderrahimChalfaouat - my own thought about what you say is that perhaps we should treat participatpry communication and a public sphere as 'ideals' to pursue - acknowledging that they are never fully possible - and that there are some contexts in which social media allows us to get closer to these ideals - but some contexts in...

  • ... Just to offer a counter-argument, though - I wonder if Brian is best placed to understand how audiences outside of his community already perceive Kibera, and how best to challenge those perceptions? Is there no role for outsiders / 'parachute journalists' who may be better placed to 'translate' realities in Kibera for an international audience?

  • @AbderrahimChalfaouat thank you for sharing this analysis. What I take from it is that a lot of the media capture which occurs offline, is also happening online, but in different ways, in Morocco.

  • Thank you so much @AbderrahimChalfaouat - I really like your expanded understanding of dialogue. Does this help answer your quesiton, @AldemiroBande ?

  • Thank you for the question, @AldemiroBande . This is certainly about self-determination, which is one of the key strands of participatory approach. There is also an emphasis on the process - rather than just the outcome. But what about the third theme - dialogue. There is not so much dialogue and collective action involved in this case. Therefore, perhaps we...

  • What a fantastic reflection, @AyodeleTaofiq-Fanida These are very important examples. I wonder if the implication of what you are saying is that 'telling stories' is only one piece of the puzzle. If there is no accountability or good governance operating around it - then not only might it not provoke change, but it might lead to a negative reaction for the...

  • That sounds like a fantastic, and indeed very participatory project. I wonder what the main challenges are. I imagine there might be resistance to some of the themes within the programme. I also wonder who determines the topics they talk about. what if the men involved want to raise other issues that affect them. Just relfections.

  • This is a wonderful summary @IsabelleBeckman - and I agree with your analysis. So in fact, the two are very different. Which one do you and/or others think will be most sustainable? and why?

  • @AldemiroBande Thank you so much for these examples. The obvious follow-up question, then, is what does this mean for our understanding of the influence of the media? Perhaps they dont 'set the agenda and "push" policy makers to address that specific situation that was reported' as often as we sometimes think. Your examples help to show that media effects on...

  • @ZILANIKHONJEPHIRI is that you from MAMID 2009?! Hello! Welcome to the course! thank you for the contribution! I still remember you telling me all about community radio in Malawi when you were here! These comments make me wonder what you and/or others thing about INGOs as an alternative to state support. Do they come with their own challenges or are they far...

  • Thank you @JanineVillamor

  • This is a wonderful summary of the benefits and challenges of community radio @AldemiroBande - I wonder if all community radio has been captured by the state or if there are examples of radio that is still independent?

  • This is true - as long as they have access (and sufficient media literacy) to do this. But I wonder if media production is really as decentralised as it sometimes appears. Who has the greatest time, resources, status, reach and connections to tell their stories?

  • Thank you for sharing these examples @AldemiroBande - Its hard to believe this is still happening - this portrayal of famine affecting the whole country. I wonder if others here have similar examples?

  • This is a wonderful comment @AbderrahimChalfaouat - I particularity like how you linked so many different ideas into the 'forth estate'.

  • Thank you @AldemiroBande - this is certainly one of the roles the media should, ideally be playing. I wonder, though, if government always responds to media coverage in the way it should, or if media coverage always reports on the most important social issues - and what prevents it from doing so?

  • Thank you @BusayoOlowookere - I wonder how you think media promotes 'freedom'? Does it make people 'free' by giving people information, or in other ways?

  • Thank you @NazrulIslam - It seems like you focus on the role of media in facilitating communication within societies - between the public and organisations. And for this, we need a reliable / professional media.

  • Thank you for sharing. DevelopmentDiaries looks like a fantastic resource