China in Africa: Representation of Chinese Investments in Africa by Western, Chinese, and African Media

Frankline Matanji


This study is grounded in framing theory to understand tones and frames adopted by media from various regions when covering Chinese investment in Africa. Relying on news articles collected from Factiva and Nexis Uni databases, the study focuses on four tones (positive, negative, neutral, and mixed) and five generic frames (conflict, human interest, attribution of responsibility, morality, and economic consequences). The results of this quantitative content analysis indicate that Chinese, Kenyan, South African, and Nigerian media reported on Chinese investment in Africa using a positive tone, while media in the United States and Britain adopted a negative tone. Furthermore, each generic frame was adopted with varying levels of intensity across the countries investigated in this study. The conclusion is discussed in terms of how each country’s economic and political interests involved in the Chinese investments debate influence the tone and frame of the news media coverage.


Africa, Chinese investment, public diplomacy, Chinese influence

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