The project

Welcome… ‘The ground floor’ was an individual project as part of my MA in Journalism. It explores the issues and debates surrounding the role of journalism and media in promoting development and social change in Africa and South Asia.

Amongst the topics evaluated in the blog include the role of new media technologies in communication and the developing world, the relationship between mainstream media and aid and the effect of globalisation on developing countries.

Much of the analysis was done by applying academic theories on development, which are often heavily debated – so if you have any of your own opinions or comments please feel free to share.

The degree

I am a print and multimedia journalist with an MA in Print Journalism at the University of Sheffield. This blog was part of the Journalism, Globalisation and Development course module led by Herman Wasserman.

The name

Development theories have evolved in thinking a horizontal approach is more effective in implementing social change. The developed world, particularly countries in the West, have previously taken a top-down approach in developing the Global South, often with the aim that it should imitate the West in order to build their nations.

This can be argued to have fallen flat on its face for numerous reasons. The political milieu of the country may be one where corruption thrives for instance. Ideals may have been rejected from the South on the belief that they are based on Western superiority. Or some solutions might not be suited to a particular region because they threaten the local languages or culture of people on the ground.

There is the increasing realisation, that in order to be successful, development from the West must move some storeys down to relate with and involve the people it aims to aid – and with this also brings ethical issues. After all, it is the people on the ground floor who ultimately carry out social change and are left holding the baby.

After the project

Although the project has now ended, I will occasionally post or share bits that are relevant to the theme of media and development.

Tumblr: verbal rhia

Twitter: @rhiachohan


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