The Influence of Foreign News Programs on the International News Agenda of Rwandan Television and Newspapers
AdvisorSchwalbe, Carol B.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractScholars of intermedia agenda-setting have examined how news organizations can affect one another's content, but research is lacking on the influence of foreign news programs on fledging media outlets, such as Rwanda Television (RTV). A quantitative content analysis conducted between October and December 2016 indicates that media outlets in core countries dominated RTV's international news edition, which depended mostly on foreign programs, mainly from Euronews and Al Jazeera English. The 2016 U.S. election was the predominant topic. More than half the stories had a negative tone. In addition, qualitative interviews with the RTV editorial team revealed that the main factors influencing story selection were proximity, prominence, impact, cultural values, and relevance. Cross-lagged correlation coefficients indicated that both RTV and two Rwandan newspapers—igihe.com and Imvaho Nshya—focused on the same news topics but with slightly different sources. In Rwanda, the defining factors for this intermedia agenda-setting are not media type, ownership, or technology, as other studies have found, but institutional barriers, language, and the globalization of news. Faced with limited finances and a shortage of trained journalists, fledging media organizations in Rwanda will continue to depend on big media for their daily international news. Strategies are suggested for helping to break the cycle of foreign media domination and news homogenization in Rwanda
Degree ProgramGraduate College