Mediafrica survey in Gaborone

A basic analytical perspective in the Mediafrica-project is what David Morley has termed a non media-centric media study. That is, in order to study media use we need to look at what uses people put media to. And in order to see what uses they put them to we need to gather data on people’s everyday life: What their concerns are, who they relate to, how their socio-economic situation is, etc. This is why this survey, which is about media use, asks a lot of questions about things that apparently have nothing to do with media. The value of that is that we in this way get an impression of how media fit into people’s life-projects: Is it for leisure they use their media? Is it for work, or finding work? Or is it to keep in touch with relatives and friends?

We consider the household to be the most relevant context for much of media-related practices, although some uses of course are more personal. This is why we conducted both household and individual questionnaires. In addition the enumerators were instructed to take photos both outside and inside the households, especially of media devices. (Of course, all within the frames of strict privacy issues regulations.)

For these reasons the questionnaires are big, together several hundred questions. The survey was conducted with help from our partners at University of Botswana, Dr. Faimau and Head of sociology department Prof. Mogalakwe. We employed 19 enumerators as well as a research assistant (whose main job is the coordination of the 19 others) - all post graduate students from the University of Botswana. They completed about 320 questionnaires and took several hundred pictures in four intense days from the 4th to the 7th of December. The design is a so-called stratified random sampling; we chose different areas that represent different socio-economic strata in the capital. The enumerators worked in pairs, going from household to household, knocking on doors and “kokoo’ing” at gates. Some places they were met with suspicion and had to try the next household instead but in general people were friendly. However, unfortunately the survey took place in a middle of a heat wave, with temperatures over 40 degrees, and walking around in streets in Gaborone for hours was obviously strenuous.

We wish to express our gratitude to all the positive respondents, and especially the 20 students who made the survey possible. They certainly did a great job – thanks to all of you:  Ms Jane Banda; Ms Wame Stone; Ms Lebogang Gubago; Mr Kealeboga Amos; Ms Lesedi Dithapo; Mr Koketso Kanekane; Ms Tebo Kgosiemang; Ms Atamelang Sebetlela; Mr Mokobi Gabankitse; Mr Ditiro Balatlhilwe; Ms Maipelo Sabata; Mr Gregory Ramodiane; Ms Unami Phatshwane, Ms Refilwe Setimela; Mr Archiebold Seanokeng; Mr Thabo Molefe; Ms Gorata  Kebabope; Ms Thato Bolotsang; Ms Keneilwe Selaelo; and Ms Boikanyo Baebele.