New technologies, ancient archetypes: The boston globe's discursive construction of internet connectivity in Africa

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Abstract

This article analyzed the Boston Globe's discursive construction of Internet connectivity in Africa in its series entitled "The Wiring of a Continent: Africa Goes Online." The study was carried out within the theoretical framework of journalism as mythic narrative. It was found that the Boston Globe constructed the reality of the Internet in Africa within the framework of the primeval Western archetype of Africa as the "Dark Continent." This archetype was expressed through 4 myths: "Duality," the "Last Frontier," "New Beginnings," and the "Frontier Hero." These myths reified Africa as the foil of the Western world, explained the digital divide, and naturalized a deterministic ideology of information technology. The story that was not told in this series is that the African fiber optic system was the single most significant African-funded telecommunications accomplishment in the history of the continent because it effectively reversed many of the colonial communication barriers between and within many African countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-198
Number of pages17
JournalHoward Journal of Communications
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Archetypes in news narratives
  • Digital divide
  • Internet and development
  • Internet connectivity in Africa
  • News as myth

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