George Ogola

George Ogola
University of Central Lancashire | UCLAN · Department of Journalism

MA in Journalism and Media Studies, PhD

About

33
Publications
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183
Citations

Publications

Publications (33)
Article
Full-text available
One of the recurrent questions in journalism scholarship is whether journalism as a profession and institution can grow and thrive outside the traditional newsroom (especially, with the dominant agenda-setting media in most African countries being either state- or privately run press). In introducing this special issue, we revisit this pertinent qu...
Article
Full-text available
The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the most disruptive phenomena of our time. It has threatened and destabilised the normative, it has stoked fear and anxiety, and laid bare the fragility of our systems of governance, medical science and the immanent tensions within our knowledge systems. The pandemic has provoked a fundamental collision of these syst...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the role that the media play in framing issues that are being considered for public policy. In doing so, it introduces the theory of communicative action, originally developed by the German theorist, Jurgen Habermas, to demonstrate what a participatory approach to governance would entail. Using the case of the debates that pr...
Article
Full-text available
Africa faces a double Covid-19 crisis. At once it is a crisis of the pandemic, at another an information framing crisis. This article argues that public health messaging about the pandemic is complicated by a competing mix of framings by a number of actors including the state, the Church, civil society and the public, all fighting for legitimacy. T...
Article
Full-text available
The ubiquity of new media technologies in many parts of Africa today and the celebratory narratives with which their adoption is routinely discussed in the continent often firmly silence some important questions. Among these is new media technologies’ inherent capacity to also exclude, neuter or appropriate “popular” voices. This article attempts t...
Chapter
The unprecedented growth of The Nairobian, a red-top tabloid, as arguably the most notorious and undoubtedly one of the most ‘popular’ newspapers in Kenya has generated debate on the future of Kenyan journalism. Informed by the broader critical debates on the process of tabloidisation and of the tabloid press more generally, this chapter discusses...
Book
This book explores the historical and cultural impact of popular cultural forms in Africa. It examines how popular fiction, a dominant feature in Kenyan newspapers , engages with and subjects the polity to constant critique through informal but widely recognized forms of censure. Using a popular fiction column published in various Kenyan newspapers...
Chapter
This chapter explores the emergence and growth of popular fiction in the Kenyan written press. It begins with a discussion of the roles played by the universities of Nairobi, Makerere and Ibadan in the development of African literature in general. The chapter then looks at the emergence of popular literature as a category of critical literary exege...
Chapter
This chapter attempts to demonstrate how Mutahi constructs his publics. The discussion takes as its point of departure the fact that audiences are inherently diverse. Mutahi is thus only able to access them as a composite group through the strategic use of the column’s generic features. The chapter focuses on how he draws on a pool of familiar reso...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the re-emergence of popular literature as a significant site of intellectual inquiry in Kenya. It revisits some of the debates that have characterized the place of the ‘popular’ within the country’s intellectual and literary traditions, and how its significance has since been ‘recuperated’. It argues that while the legacies o...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes the key findings of the book and proposes an agenda for further research. It argues that for Whispers to have survived the rigours of the Kenyan media market, a highly selective and increasingly differentiated audience for nearly two decades, underscores the significance of popular fiction in Kenya’s public culture. Whispers...
Chapter
This chapter discusses Whispers as a ‘political text’. It seeks to demonstrate how the column explores but also intervenes in the political process. The chapter looks at how the column opened for Mutahi a space within which to discuss a number of political interventions through various discursive practices. The chapter particularly focuses on the p...
Chapter
This chapter offers a critical reading of the notion of the ‘popular’ and of ‘popular culture’ in Africa. It explores critical debates on popular culture and how it interfaces with the everyday and the political. It seeks to demonstrate how the realm of the ‘popular’ gives agency to repressed histories and narrations of the ordinary. It argues that...
Chapter
This chapter examines the characters in Whispers and how they mediate the everyday. It reads Mutahi’s characters and the narrative structure he adopts as allegorical. It argues that Mutahi structures his narratives around a fictional family as a convenient foil and uses his characters as allegorical types. By creating a fictional ‘domestic space’,...
Chapter
This chapter outlines the key objectives of the book. It contextualizes the newspaper column Whispers and introduces its writer Wahome Mutahi. The chapter argues that Mutahi’s writing is informed by a broader cultural and political aesthetic particularly keen on expanding the ‘bounds of the expressible’ through a number of popular and sometimes ‘su...
Chapter
This chapter examines how Whispers interrogates the popular concerns of the Kenyan subject through manifestations of Christian religious practices. The chapter seeks to demonstrate how these practices reflected many Kenyans’ popular concerns, particularly at a time of significant social and political upheaval. The chapter argues that as a religion...
Book
The book examines popular fiction columns, a dominant feature in Kenyan newspapers, published in the twentieth century and examines their historical and cultural impact on Kenyan politics. The book interrogates how popular cultural forms such as popular fiction engage with and subject the polity to constant critique through informal but widely reco...
Chapter
Outside the formal media structures, Kenya has always had a broad range of vibrant alternative sites for public expression and deliberation. As a reaction to successive post-independence governments’ domination and control of mainstream media, Kenya’s “cultural workers”, through music, drama, comedy and “new journalism”, have routinely developed a...
Article
Over the past decade, Kenya's media landscape has witnessed a wave of transformative and disruptive technologies in the form of Web 2.0 applications, accessible through computers and now increasingly through mobile phones. These developments have since incubated two new critical media regimes. First, the country has seen the emergence of a new comm...
Chapter
In response to the perceived negative images of Africa, a number of pan-African media have emerged and are attempting to develop an alternative news narrative of the continent. However, faced with myriad challenges – both practical and ideological – most have had only limited success. Using pan-African(ist) media initiatives including the pan-Afric...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction The 1990s remain epochal in the transformation of African journalism. This period coincides with the adoption of political pluralism in many African countries, an era that was attended by the broader liberalisation of African economies. The media sector, once dominated by the state, was finally opened to private enterprise. As a conseq...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter looks at South Africa and Kenya’s print and broadcast media, which are not only foundational in understanding the various histories and traditions that have shaped journalism in these countries, but also key to our reading of the future of quality journalism in the broader Southern and Eastern African regions. We are aware of the t...
Article
Full-text available
This article teases out some of the key drivers that have shaped the character and development of Kenya’s news media over four constructed phases since independence. The article demonstrates how Kenya’s news media are entangled in a complex power structure, which has enabled but also constrained its development. Mapped against the country’s politic...
Article
The coverage of the 2007 post-election violence by Kenya’s news media cannot be disaggregated from the institutional defi ciencies of the Kenyan state. This article argues that coverage of the crisis revealed a media at a cross-roads; one embedded in the state’s institutional failures yet expected to stand apart from them. The article further argue...
Chapter
In many parts of Africa, successive governments have historically either monopolized or manipulated public spaces for popular expression. New “spaces of freedom” have consequently been forged and fashioned around popular cultural forms. Denied space in public sites of communication, alternative narratives have found expression in popular music, dan...
Article
This article examines the narratives constructed around age in Kenya. Noting the 'spatial crossings' of the Kenyan subject, who is as much attuned to the village ethos as he is to the globalized world, the article problematizes our approach to the study of age in Africa. It discusses the multiple narratives now constructed around age within the con...
Article
Popular culture has become one of the most visible sites of critical social and political interpretation in post-colonial Africa. It is a site where an alternative public space is created and where various discourses; social, economic and political are invariably debated and negotiated. In many ways its various forms reflect, other times allegorize...
Article
This paper examines contemporary Kenyan popular fiction as a site of cultural production, where the contradictions of African modernity are played out. The paper focuses on one of Kenya's oldest popular fiction columns, Whispers, published in local newspapers since 1983. Constructed around a Kenyan family, which is deployed as an allegorical trope...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
To explore the (emerging) cultural and political biographies of digital protest cultures in Africa.