[Re]-presenting knowledge: The coverage of xenophobia research in selected South African newspapers, 2008 -2013

Kudakwashe P. Vanyoro & Lyton Ncube. (2018) [Re]-presenting knowledge: The coverage of xenophobia research in selected South African newspapers, 2008 -2013Journal of Communication and Media Research, Vol. 10, No. 1 (76-89).

Recurring xenophobic attacks on perceived foreign immigrants stand out as one of the major setbacks on South Africa’s envisaged ‘rainbow’ nation discourse. These attacks remain a topical issue in academic, media, social, economic and political circles. While a significant body of literature explores the coverage of migration and xenophobia issues in the South African mainstream press, studies examining media coverage of xenophobia research from research institutions are scarce.

This study explores the [re]-presentation of xenophobia research findings in two popular South African newspapers: the Mail & Guardian and the Sowetan from 2008 to 2013. The study utilizes a qualitative research approach. Findings show that the two analyzed newspapers uncritically picked up stories and purveyed them without a strong base facilitated by empirical research. In essence, empirical research findings were selectively utilized to ‘authenticate’ or legitimize convenient ideological positions. Finally, a clear tension between discourses of ‘empirical knowledge’ and ‘popular perceptions’; was evident in analyzed stories.

About Kuda Vanyoro

Kuda is a Research Communications Officer and Doctoral Researcher at ACMS.

In 2013, Kuda was awarded an International Human Rights Exchange Programme special scholarship from Bard College and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. There he acquired distinguished multidisciplinary human rights education and certification. During the course of the programme, he served as a Communications and Advocacy Intern at the Albert Street School for Refugees in Johannesburg where he became exposed as well as interested in migration and poverty issues due to his daily interaction with Zimbabwean refugees.

Kuda joined ACMS in February 2014 where he was appointed Research, Communications and Outreach Intern. ACMS nominated him for the Migrating out of Poverty Research Internship Scheme from April to July 2014. His internship involved supporting all ACMS communications work, preparing and packaging policy briefs, research data capturing, undertaking desktop research and blogging on contemporary issues related to migration and poverty in Southern Africa. Kuda has participated and presented at various international conferences and three years iteration of the Global Forum on Migration and Development.

He holds an MA in Migration & Displacement (Cum laude) from Wits University. His current doctoral thesis explores how crossborder migrants experience quotidian waiting events at the border and what various banal modalities of waiting say about belonging, subjectification and governmentality.