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date: 29 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Using the history of sub-Saharan African newspapers as well as historical evidence from Europe and the United States, this chapter studies the emergence of market-oriented journalism and of an independent and informative press in sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter documents the extent to which sub-Saharan African newspapers have followed the same development steps of newspapers in other countries. The story of the sub-Saharan African media is not a simple story of catching up and convergence. Through the study of the economics of the sub-Saharan African media, this chapter challenges traditional views of the media. It questions the long-term sustainability of advertising-dependent media and discusses a new framework to improve the financial sustainability of mass media while preserving the independence of media outlets. The pros and cons of ownership concentration are also documented.

Keywords: print media, advertising revenues, non-profit media organizations, corruption, political participation, government accountability

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