Three new Journalist Fellows' papers now online
Jamilah Tangaza has written a fascinating study on how rural audiences in northern Nigeria consume their news. Beom-Soo Park has written a detailed comparison of the relationship between Public Service Broadcasters in the UK and South Korea. Mimma Lehtovaara has written a wide-ranging and ambitious research paper on the challenges and huge changes facing news agencies from social media and the internet.
Jamilah Tangaza is the head of the Hausa Service at the BBC World Service and was a BBC journalist fellow in Trinity term.
In her study entitled, 'Challenges and Obstacles of Creating Mobile Content for Audiences in Rural Africa: a Case Study of the BBC Hausa Village Road Show', Jamilah analyses why it is that despite the boom in the use of mobile phones, villagers in many parts of Nigeria do not use them to get their news.
Jamilah was surprised to learn most villagers were still listening to the BBC on short wave radios and only two per cent of inhabitants owned a mobile phone.
Jamilah makes several recommendations for international media organisations, particularly that they forge strategic partnerships with other stakeholders in the mobile field, including handset manufacturers.
Her conclusion is optimistic. She argues that 'although the current complexity of the mobile field presents numerous challenges in creating mobile content especially for audiences in rural Africa, in the long term international news organisations may have an advantage as their brand, experience and first mover advantage give them an edge in the markets they have traditionally dominated.'
Mimma Lehtovaara is news editor at the Finnish news agency (STT) and was a Helsingin Sanomat fellow for the academic year 2010/11.
In her study entitled 'The News Agency Goes Internet' Mimma points out that there have been several studies on the impact of these changes examined through the prism of journalism or the structural transformations within the industry, but few have been seen from the point of the view of the managers having to implement the changes in their organizations. Mimma aims to fill this gap.
Mimma not only studies her own news agency in Finland, but draws on interviews with managers from a wide range of other agencies in Europe. She provides a useful overview of how different media organizations are addressing the challenges posed by social media like Twitter and Facebook.
In her final chapter, Mimma clearly lays out some of the many challenges facing news agencies and possible ways forward. She writes that 'the changes require exceptional journalistic and business skills and ability to embrace new ideas. The management's role is pivotal in leading all the changes.'
Beom-Soo Park was a fellow during 2010/11 and is Senior Reporter at the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).
In his study entitled, 'A Comparative Study of the Conflicts Between Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) and Governments in the UK and South Korea', Beom-Soo focuses on two cases: the first is the conflict between the BBC and the British government over the 'Andrew Gilligan Case' in 2003-2004 (prompted by the BBC reporter Andrew Gilligan's reporting that the Tony Blair government ‘sexed up’ the report about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction).
The second is the conflict between MBC and the Korean government over the 'PD Notebook Case' in 2008-2009 (prompted by the report in the programme PD Notebook that the Lee Myung-Bak government permitted the import of American beef despite the risk of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, CJD, otherwise known as ‘mad cow disease').
Through the development and the resolution of these two critical conflicts, his paper compares and analyzes how these two governments tried to control the media, and the responses of the respective journalists in the BBC and MBC. It also looks at how the BBC is able to maintain its independence from government focusing on its financial security, the characteristics of the BBC culture, the role of the BBC Trust and the editorial guidelines of the BBC.