An analysis of Botswana-China relations in the Botswana print media
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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Africa-China relations have been topical since China opened up to the world in the late 1970s. Various views have been expressed by global media, analysts and academics about the motives, agenda and form of the relationship between China and Africa. The media not only reflect social reality but actively shape perceptions and views of readers on a wide range of topics, and as such, they form a very important site of data in the study of Africa-China relations. Some research has been carried out to determine how Africa-China relations are depicted in the media in African countries, the US, Europe, and China. This study therefore contributes to this body of scholarship on the depiction of Africa-China relations in the media by assessing how Botswana-China relations are portrayed in the Botswana print media. The study was done through content analysis of stories and features appearing in four newspapers. The findings of the study show that the coverage of the Botswana-China relations cannot be neatly categorized as either positive or negative, but as a complex of contrasting views, depending on the topic covered, with some aspects of the relationship positively represented while others are negatively represented by the local press. Thus, one can argue that the exponential rate of Chinese involvement in Botswana over the past few years has been received with both optimism and skepticism by the print media. The study also assessed what Africa-China issues have more coverage than others, and found that the issues that receive most coverage in the media are economic, and are mainly about the conduct of the Chinese in the construction, retail, and manufacturing sectors.
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