Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Among the 48 sub-Saharan African countries, the liberalization of the media has been at the center of debate since a wave of democratic reform swept through the region in the 1990s. Within this wave of democratization, authoritarian one-party regimes yielded to multiparty systems in most African states. At the onset of democratization, a wide range of media reforms surfaced with countries opening up and deregulating their media sector. Moreover, legal frameworks emerged to restore press freedom. One key feature of the newfound media freedom has been the proliferation of independent media. Despite these developments, sub-Saharan Africa receives only a tiny percentage of global news coverage. Furthermore, the region forms a complex cultural and ethnic tableau of 788 million people who speak approximately 2,000 languages. Although rich in natural resources, most of sub-Saharan Africa falls behind the rest of the world in terms of economic development due to poor infrastructure, government ...