Competing Forms of Media Capture in Developing Democracies

Maha Rafi Atal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearch


Media capture has been historically manifest in four forms - plutocratic, state, corporate and intersecting - but the intersecting form of media capture is likely to be dominant in countries where independent media institutions are still consolidating in the context of the shift to digital forms of communication. Powerful plutocrats affiliated with political elites often seek to capture print and broadcast media to limit the scope for political debate. While new communication technologies and outlets can provide a check against this plutocratic capture, new platforms in the developing world may- as in the developed world - also be captured through advertising and corporate pressure. Because “traditional” and “new” media technologies have emerged simultaneously in many developing democracies, these forms of capture do not replace one another, but combine and compete. This chapter relies on examples
across the developing world and a case study on South African media to explore the challenges and implications of four interacting forms of media capture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIn the Service of Power : Media Capture and the Threat to Democracy
EditorsAnya Schiffrin
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationWashington, D.C
PublisherCenter for International Media Assistance
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9780981825427
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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