Reciprocity and risk in the work and lives of Kinshasa's TV journalists

Katrien Pype

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Just like in many other sub-Saharan African countries, Kinshasa's media world has opened up in the mid 1990s. Especially since 2002, local TV stations have been mushrooming. This has not only led to a proliferation of media productions, but it has also enlarged the terrain of local journalists, in particular allowing for more jobs. The TV stations are inserted within the larger division that governs Kinshasa's political society: a media outlet is either du centre (of the centre, also du pouvoir, of power) or not, referring to the division between pro-Kabila media and anti-Kabila media. Despite this strong polarization in the local press, many of Kinshasa's journalists share similar professional experiences. In this article, two components of the lifeworlds and work of Kinshasa's journalists are explored: the management of journalists' patron-client relationships with leaders and the experience of risk and fear in their work and in their private lives. Lolenge loko na bituka biyike na sudi ya Sahara; misala mya bapanzi sango na Kisasa, ezuaki mbongwana na kati-kati ya mibu koto yoko kama libwa na tuku libwa. Mingi-mingi penza na mobu koto ibale na ibale, bandako ya bopanzi sango ya etando eke ebotami na mboka na biso lokola makombo. Yango penza ebutisi baprogramme nzike na mpe penza motango ya bapanzi sango, na kobakisaka penza makoki ya bazui musala ya bopanzi sango. Bandako eke ya bopanzi sango ekabwanaki na biteni bibale, engebeni na politiki ya mboka na biso: bongo mpo na bayangeli mbula-matari (baye bazali mpo na tata mokonzi Zozefu Kabila), basusu na ngambo esusu (Opposition, baye bazali kokabola makanisi moko ya mbula-matari Zozefu Kabila te). Ata ndenge bokabuani wana ezali ya makasi, bapanzi sango mingi ya Kisasa bazali kokutana se na mikakatano ndenge yoko engebene na misala na bango. Na makomami maye, nazali kotala ndenge ibale ya bomoyi mpe misala ya bapanzisango na kati ya engumba ya Kisasa: bosangani ya bosono ya misala mya bango na bakonzi ya politiki na ndenge bazali kozua bango lokola bana na bango ya misala; mpe na ndenge bakutanaka na makama mpe kobanga na kati ya misala mya bango, mpe na bomoyi ya moko-moko na bango. Maloba ya motuya: DR Congo; bipanzeli bya sango; bopanzi sango; komikonza; likumu; botekisami; bozenga bya bipanzeli sango; bokiti na boluki zebi

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-71
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of African Cultural Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • agency
  • clientelism
  • DR Congo
  • fieldwork
  • journalism
  • Kinshasa
  • media
  • media aesthetics
  • risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Cultural Studies
  • Linguistics and Language


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