The enigma of news media development with multi-pronged 'capture': The Afghanistan case

Jeannine E. Relly, Margaret Zanger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This qualitative study of influences on a purposive sample of Afghan journalists was carried out in the year after the US military mission was declared over. After more than a hundred million dollars of Western government funding had been invested in development of liberal democratic journalism, the study found the paradox of news media 'capture'. We conceptualize this phenomenon further into political, bureaucratic, foreign-donor, and violent-actor capture. The study concludes that in countries with heavy foreign intervention, where imported journalism values are layered upon previous and continued institutional arrangements and where violence and instability continue unabated, news media work is prone to 'capture' by a variety of actors outside media organizations. We suggest that future research could refine a typology with six distinct forms of capture - economic, political, cultural, legal, bureaucratic, and societal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1255
Number of pages23
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • 'de-westernized' approaches
  • Afghanistan
  • capture
  • conflict
  • democratic values
  • mediated spaces
  • news media development
  • social change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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