This PhD studentship is a collaboration between the African Media Initiative (AMI), Washington D.C. and the University of Sheffield’s Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM). The project focuses on how radio soap opera can be used in post-conflict situations to foster peace and reconciliation. In 2000, in the aftermath of the civil war in Sierra Leone, the NGO Search for Common Ground (SFCG) decided to create a media unit called Talking Drum Studio – Sierra Leone (TDS-SL) and this study focuses on one of their radio programmes entitled ‘Atunda Ayenda/Lost and Found’, which was first aired in Krio and then picked up by the BBC World Service.
The PhD student will be working on three objectives:
1) to examine in depth how TDS-SL is working, its institutional structures, the organisation of its human and financial resources, its objectives, its self-set missions, its editorial guidelines and standards as well as its partnership with the BBC World Service
2) to analyse the content of the radio programme through a new kind of qualitative media content analysis which has been developed and tested by Professor Jackie Harrison and Dr Stefanie Pukallus of CFOM to identify to what extent the factual or semi-factual mass media endorse, advocate or reject civil norms
3) to undertake focus groups examining why this radio programme has been so popular in engaging its listeners in post-conflict Sierra Leone.
The successful student will be located in Sheffield, undertake a three-month secondment at the AMI and be required to undertake field work in Sierra Leone in the second year of the PhD.
Eligibility and award details
This studentship is available only to EU or UK students. Students who have not been resident in the UK for the three years prior to their start date will be eligible for a fees award only.
This studentship is available as a 1+3 or +3 year award (see https://wrdtp.ac.uk/studentships/):
+3 programme: funding for a three-year PhD (assumes that a student has already met the majority of the core social sciences research methods training requirements and that the PhD focus is largely on more advanced training)
1+3 programme: an integrated masters programme precedes the three-year PhD which will deliver the core social sciences research methods training requirements (e.g. MA Social Research)
The award is available for full- or part-time study.
Closing date: 24 March 2019
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