Journalists’ Development Journalism Role Perceptions: Select countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa

Yusuf Kalyango, Folker Hanusch, Jyotika Ramaprasad, Terje Skjerdal, Mohd Safar Hasim, Nurhaya Muchtar, Mohammad Sahid Ullah, Levi Zeleza Manda, Sarah Bomkapre Kamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Development journalism remains an important concept in the journalism studies literature, but it has, at the same time, suffered from a lack of empirical research. Drawing on a survey of 2598 journalists from eight South Asian, Southeast Asian, and sub-Saharan African countries, which was conducted as part of the Worlds of Journalism Study, this study assesses the importance journalists ascribe to three key development journalism roles—social intervention, national development, and educating people. It also compares these perceptions across the countries, between government- and privately owned news media in these countries, and between these countries and 19 Worlds of Journalism Study countries in Western Europe and North America, which profess to adhere to an objective and democratic press function. Findings suggest that journalists from the eight countries, across government- and privately owned media, considered development journalism important, and detached, adversarial journalism as less important. Their rating of the latter roles differed considerably from those of journalists from the 19 comparison countries. Results suggest that journalists were more likely socialized into their roles rather than being forced into the same by the heavy hand of government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-594
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2017


  • South and Southeast Asia
  • Worlds of Journalism Study
  • development journalism
  • national development
  • social change
  • sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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