The Globalization of the Pavement - A Tanzanian Case Study


  • Ylva Ekström Malmö University
  • Anders Høg Hansen Malmö University
  • Hugo Boothby Malmö University


This article investigates examples of citizen media production and communication (blogs and social media sites in Tanzania and its diasporas) in the immediate aftermath of the Gongo la Mboto blasts in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, February 2011.
At the centre is the relationship between media use and communication practices of the pavement – drawing from the notion of pavement radio – and the spaceship, i.e. a metaphor for traditional mass media, exemplified by policies and practices of the BBC and its World Service.
We argue that new social media practices as digital pavement radio are converging with traditional forms of street buzz and media use. Forms of oral communication are adapting towards the digital and filling information voids in an informal economy of news and stories in which media practices are stimulated by already ingrained traditions. An existing oral culture is paving the way for a globalization of the pavement.