The eagle vs. the dragon in Africa: A content analysis of economic news frames in Nigeria and Kenya on the U.S. and China's economic pursuits Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Raphiou, April
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Mass Communication Graduate Program
  • Purpose - The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the prominence and framing of economic news in Africa using three distinct theoretical approaches - imperialism, structural theory of international news flow and framing. Through an analysis of news content in two of Africa's most widely-distributed newspapers - ThisDay (Nigeria) and Daily Nation (Kenya) - this dissertation discovers the quantity, prominence, valence and framing of economic news about the U.S. and China's economic engagement with Africa. It also examines the antecedents of economic news coverage, or determinants of international news coverage, and correlates them with news content elements. Research Design and Method - While quantitative content analysis summarizes the method, there were several components of the analysis. First, the quantities, topics, actors and sources in news articles were calculated for articles appearing about China and the U.S. in each African publication using the 1,746 articles in the larger sample. Subsequently, prominence, valence and frame information was analyzed in 753 economic news articles using a coding protocol. Lastly, news determinants such as GDP and population were correlated with aspects of news content. Findings -While the U.S. has traditionally been more prominent in news coverage, this study provides empirical evidence that China is challenging the United States' hold on international news flow. The U.S. was mentioned in more news articles, but China's foreign policy goals in Africa figured more prominently in news coverage, as China had a larger number of business-oriented articles. Additionally, China was framed more positively than the U.S. in both publications. Essentially, where China's trade dollars flow (e.g., Kenya), the their country receives greater news coverage. Additionally, this study illustrated that trade is one of many macroeconomic components of international news coverage that helps to determine whether or not a news story is likely to be published about a nation. Significance of this Study - This study finds that there are clear linkages between news content and determinants of news coverage in Africa's news coverage. Additionally, there are a number of other macroeconomic variables that contribute to fluctuations in international news coverage. With regards to framing, this research illustrated that frames are unchanging, even in a global context. Lastly, this study provides concrete, empirical evidence that the United States' imperialist influence on global news content is not absolute in every African country.
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  • In Copyright
  • Pomerantz, Phyllis
  • Riffe, Daniel
  • Nzongola-Ntalaja, Georges
  • Aikat, Debashis
  • Boynton, Lois A.
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2015
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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