Tuning in to pavement radio

TitleTuning in to pavement radio
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsS.D.K. Ellis
Secondary TitleAfrican affairs : the journal of the Royal African Society
Pagination321 - 330
Date Published1989///
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsAfrica, communication, history

This article describes a phenomenon known all over Africa, for which there is no really satisfactory term in English but which is summed up in the French term 'radio trottoir', literally 'pavement radio'. It may be defined as the popular and unofficial discussion of current affairs in Africa, particularly in towns. Unlike the press, television or radio, pavement radio is not controlled by any identifiable individual, institution or group of people. An examination of the social role and pedigree of pavement radio reveals it to be qualitatively different from either rumour or gossip and to have a quite different social and political function from its counterpart in Europe. It is also different from mere rumour in its choice of subject, often discussing matters of public interest or importance which have been the subject of no official announcement. Pavement radio should be seen in the light of oral tradition and treated as a descendant of the more formal oral histories associated with ruling dynasties and national rituals. Notes, ref

IR handle/ Full text URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1887/9013
Citation Key1671