The Media Framing of China’s Image in East Africa: An Exploratory Study

Bob Wekesa


Sino-East African relations are very significant for the continent. These tighten-ing, multilevel and overarching relations are to a certain extent dependent on the accumulation of perceptions among East Africans about China. China-Africa social science literature has pointed out that China has both a favourable and unfavourable image in East Africa. These studies however exhibit a certain level of vagueness from a communication perspective in so far as they lack empiri-cism. This exploratory paper investigates the media image of China in East Afri-ca with a view to determining positive, negative and weak perceptions by apply-ing a content analysis approach. I use a media framing model to investigate Chi-na’s image as represented by four Nation Media Group English-language news-papers during 2011. As an exploratory study, the paper discusses some of the issues raised by the analysis, presents tentative findings and proposes further research directionsii.

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