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Gogo BreezeZambia's Radio Elder and the Voices of Free Speech$
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Harri Englund

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226498768

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226499093.001.0001

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The Grandfather’s Voices

The Grandfather’s Voices

(p.61) Two The Grandfather’s Voices
Gogo Breeze

Harri Englund

University of Chicago Press

A detailed case study introduces many of the key issues to be elaborated in the rest of the chapters. Responding to a listener's grievance about overcharging at mills, Gogo Breeze embarked on investigative journalism before stating his own views on air. The case indicates how the radio station depended on several media technologies apart from broadcasting - such as letters, SMS messages, phone calls, and pictures. It also begins to show the gendered dynamics of Gogo Breeze's work, including the influence of female colleagues on his judgments and the relative dominance of male voices among those who called the station. Particular attention is given in the chapter to the relationship between voice and mobile phones. Qualifying the idea that the widespread access to mobile phones empowers Africans to make their voices count on interactive radio shows, the case study indicates the importance of having a trusted authority figure mediating those voices. The chapter argues that media technologies that enable the broadcast of multiple voices are not intrinsically more multivocal than a radio elder speaking alone in the studio. Much hinges on whether the technologies are harnessed to render voices as dialogical rather than monological.

Keywords:   investigative journalism, mobile phones, voice, multivocality, gender, interactive radio, dialogue

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