A Multilevel Model of Mobile Media Use and Public Support for Press Freedom in Africa
This article presents analysis of a multilevel model of country- and individual-level factors that influence citizens’ support for press freedom in 34 African nations. The goal is to understand how mobile media use and attitudes about the press are related to demand for press freedom in a region with fast growth of mobile bandwidth infrastructure, and to contribute to a clearer explanation of how citizen attitudes are related to external evaluations of press freedom and public demand for press freedom. Findings indicate significant relationships among mobile media use for informational purposes and citizen perceptions of press freedom supply in predicting public demand for press freedom. Results also support a growing body of literature about press freedom in Africa, contributing to literature that has shown citizen evaluations of press freedom to be revealed as a nuanced concept with variations across countries based on cultural values, government framework, and journalistic culture.