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Mthulisi Mathuthu completes his PhD studies

by Staff reporter
21 Dec 2023 at 16:29hrs | Views
Zimbabwean media journalist Mthulisi Mathuthu who worked for the Zimbabwe Independent and the now defunct Mirror Group of newspapers, among other key local publications, has completed his PhD studies, adding to the growing number of journalists moving from practice into academia.

This strengthens the media and journalism profession which is critical in a democratic society.

Mthulisi is related to ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu.

Mathuthu did his PhD thesis with the University of Derby in the United Kingdom.

The thesis was 'The media image of China in Africa: A frame analysis of Kenyan, Nigerian, and Zimbabwean newspapers'.

The abstract reads:

While China-Africa relations date back to the 15th century, China’s interest and involvement in the continent increased in the last two centuries leading to the formation of the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation (Focac) in 2000. Mainly, the relationship is characterised by huge Chinese migration, business investments and loans across the whole of Africa as well as cultural exchange programs. As a result, there has arisen a concept which researchers commonly refer to as China in Africa. However, parallel to the growing academic interest in China’s presence in Africa, has been accusations that China is plundering Africa’s natural resources and exploiting the local workforce leading to Beijing making strenuous efforts to shape its image by framing its relationship with Africa as a mutually beneficial partnership. Nevertheless, despite growing academic interest, the phenomenon of China in Africa is still under researched with need for more studies including on how China is represented in the media. This study, therefore, accesses a cross national media image of China over its involvement in Africa from three Anglophone countries namely Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe through frame analysis and over a five-year period (2014-18). Totally, 1 384 news stories from six newspapers (Two from each country) were analysed. As opposed to a straightforwardly positive or negative media image, this study found a balanced African media image of China in the form of a contest of pessimistic and optimistic frames. Although this finding resonates with the hypothesis of a balanced image, the thesis, mainly, establishes the image’s stability over years. The thesis found that although gravitating towards some degree of complexity this image has remained stable for many years. Because this image is accessed from three distinct African regions (East, Southern and West Africa), the thesis argues that this is enough for it to be said to represent an Africa wide situation and to propose the testing of the ubiquity of the image in the broader Global South. The thesis also argues that while China’s soft power and economic statecraft are evident in Africa, their effect on its [China] image have been slow so far hence the stability of the image.




Source - newshawks