Research

I am primarily focus on global media discourses on Africa. My research situates these discourses within the colonial and postcolonial history of the continent, but also in relations to the evolution of journalistic production and of the political economy of global media.

I have published articles and books chapters on a variety of issues related to these questions including the emergence of the “Africa Rising” discourse; the World Cup in South Africa; the success and backlash to the Kony2012 video; the online coverage of China in Africa; foreign correspondents in East and Southern Africa; and the linguistic properties and peculiarities of Western journalistic writing on Africa. I have also conducted research with Kenyan journalists on how political, economic, cultural and professional structures shape their reporting of elections and terrorism.

You can find out more about my publications here. If you’d like a copy of those papers, feel free to drop me an email at tnothias(at)stanford(dot)edu.

I am currently a co-investigator on the British Academy funded project”Contested Discourses of Africa: The Struggle for Control of the Image of the Foreign Partner” (2017-2018). This project investigate how international news frame the involvement of France, the US and China in Africa. We do so by combining a large scale content analysis of Al Jazeera, AllAfrica, BBC, CCTV, CNN, France 24 with interviews with journalists and correspondents.

My PhD (“Beyond Afro-pessimism? British and French Print Media Discourse on Africa” – University of Leeds) investigated the nature, production and extent of Afro-pessimism in British and French media. The thesis engages current debates about representations of Africa across different fields including African studies, anthropology, development, media, journalism and cultural studies. This research was supported by a fellowship from the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, an award from the World University Network and a fellowship from the Center for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. In 2016, I received  the African Journalism Studies prize for best paper related to Africa from the International Communication Section of the IAMCR.