Religion, gender and news media in Africa

Authored by: Katrien Pype

The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Journalism

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138304963
eBook ISBN: 9780203731420
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter addresses some key themes in the study of gender, religion and news media in sub-Saharan Africa. The main argument is that women actively participate in the production and circulation of information, but we can only appreciate their contribution therein if we take a broader stance toward journalism. Understanding journalism as the collection of data and their contribution in narrative form to a public allows us to integrate categories such as griottes (West Africa) and animatrices (Kinshasa’s digital sphere) as information brokers. Based on literature reviews and original ethnographic research, this chapter approaches these categories as female reporters, i.e., public figures who disseminate newsworthy information. The analysis shows how these women mobilize religious beliefs, discourse and content in order to carry out their work and attract audiences. This chapter concludes with a reflection on contemporary transformations located at the crossroads of gender, religion and news media and what this can entail for future scholarship.

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