Communication about communication for development: the rhetorical struggle over the history and future of C4D

  • Martin Scott


There are many different ways of telling the story of the study and practice of communication for development (C4D) over the past ten years. There is clearly a great deal to be said about how social media and mobile technologies have enabled social movements in Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey and elsewhere to mobilise in pursuit of positive social change. From an institutional perspective, we might highlight instead how information, communication and media appears to be gradually achieving a higher profile within the international development community. The most prominent example of this is the potential inclusion of reference to ‘access to information and media’ within the new Sustainable Development goals. There is also a story to be told about the increasing number of postgraduate university courses related to the study of C4D that have been established in the last decade. In the UK, for example, there are now at least eight different postgraduate degree programmes concerned with this subject; signalling a growing appetite amongst students to study these issues.

Author Biography

Martin Scott
Martin Scott is a Lecturer in Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia. He is author of Media and Development (Zed Books, 2014) and has written academic articles and book chapters on the subjects of mediated cosmopolitanism, celebrities and development, representations of Africa and the role of popular culture in politics.  E-mail: