Human Rights and African Airwaves focuses on Nkhani Zam'maboma, a popular Chichewa news bulletin broadcast on Malawi's public radio. The program often takes authorities to task and questions much of the human rights rhetoric that comes from international organizations. Highlighting obligation and mutual dependence, the program expresses, in popular idioms and local narrative forms, grievances and injustices that are closest to Malawi's impoverished public. Harri Englund reveals broadcasters' everyday struggles with state-sponsored biases and a listening public with strong views and a critical ear. This fresh look at African-language media shows how Africans effectively confront inequality, exploitation, and poverty.
Harri Englund is Reader in Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He is author of Prisoners of Freedom: Human Rights and the African Poor, winner of the 2006 Amaury Talbot Prize of the Royal Anthropological Institute.
Acknowledgments Introduction Part 1. Human Rights, African Alternatives 1. Rights and Wrongs on the Radio 2. Obligations to Dogs: Between Liberal and Illiberal Analytics 3. Against the Occult: Journalists and Scholars in Search of Alternatives Part 2. The Ethos of Equality 4. A Nameless Genre: Newsreading as Storytelling 5. Inequality Is Old News: Editors as Authors 6. Stories Become Persons: Producing Knowledge about Injustice Part 3. The Aesthetic of Claims 7. Cries and Whispers: Shaming without Naming 8. Christian Critics: An Illiberal Public? 9. Beyond the Parity Principle Appendix 1. Presidential News Appendix 2. Graveyard Visit Appendix 3. Drunken Children Appendix 4. Giant Rat Appendix 5. Reclaiming Virginity Appendix 6. The Truth about Porridge Appendix 7. "Makiyolobasi Must Stop Bewitching at Night" Notes Bibliography Index