Feeding off Each Other: Journalistic Role Negotiations Between Local and Foreign Reporters in Nairobi

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Abstract

Nairobi, a vibrant hub for international journalism in East Africa, hosts a varied mix of foreign and national reporters. This paper centres on the interplay between these groups and how their relationships impact their professional role conceptions and performance. It is based on 35 interviews—with Kenyan journalists, media critics and foreign correspondents—and ethnographic data collected in Nairobi in 2021. Findings show that journalists working in Nairobi sometimes understand their job as trying to compensate for the professional roles that their counterparts cannot fulfil—like being a watchdog or disseminator. Foreign correspondents are aware of criticism toward stereotypical representations of Africa in the news media and carefully consider their performances to try to circumvent these, whilst national journalists often motivate their reporting to offer counter-narratives. While at first glance the interaction between these groups is minimal, I pose that it is precisely the constant awareness of each other’s work that generates manifold tensions that, in turn, reflect on their roles and practices.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournalism Practice
Sider (fra-til)1-17
Antal sider17
ISSN1751-2786
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2024

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