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Keith Somerville

Keith Somerville

Visiting professor, University of Kent

Professor Keith Somerville is a writer and lecturer on African affairs, journalism and the global media. In January 2013, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London. He teaches the Communications and Humanitarianism and Propaganda modules at the Centre for Journalism at the University of Kent.His book, Africa’s Long Road Since Independence. The Many Histories of a Continent has just been published by Hurst and Co and his work on the history of the ivory trade in Africa – Ivory. Poaching and Power in Africa will be published at the end of 2016. . Professor Somerville founded and runs the Africa, News and Analysis website.
Keith writes on Africa’s military and political affairs; the politics of conservation in Africa; Africa and the media; the history and use of propaganda and hate broadcasting; analysing the global media and its coverage of major world events; finding and developing stories; news and feature writing; interview techniques; broadcast and online news reporting and production; media law and ethics, and international journalism.

He has specialist knowledge of African politics and military/strategic issues; foreign intervention in Africa; environmental and wildlife issues in Africa and beyond; Marxism and the foreign policy of the former Soviet Union; and rugby (he has years of playing and team captaincy experience and is an RFU-qualified rugby coach). His current research interests are the contemporary history of Africa in light of the interplay bet ween structure and human agency; radio propaganda in apartheid South Africa; and the links between insurgency, organized crime and poaching in central and southern Africa

A career journalist with the BBC World Service and BBC Newsi for three decades, Keith has an established track record as a trainer and training designer for the BBC, initially with BBC World Service training and latterly with the recently-established BBC College of Journalism. He was executive producer for the BBC’s international award-winning Legal Online course; co-author and role-play developer for the BBC’s post-Hutton Sources, Scoops and Stories course; he in charge of and the scenario writer for the BBC’s interactive journalism teaching tool, The Journalism Tutor.

His knowledge of journalism theory and practice is based on nearly three decades of reporting, writing, presenting and editing World Service news programmes. He also has extensive online production experience and has written for specialist publications on African affairs.

The major world events he has covered include running the World Service team in South Africa for the first post-apartheid elections in 1994; presenting live coverage of the attempted coup against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev; overseeing the first 10 hours of World Service coverage of the death of Princess Diana; running of live World Service radio coverage on 9/11; and producing and presenting radio documentaries from South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica and the wilds of deepest Cardiff and Norfolk.

Keith has an extensive publication record on African continental and international politics.

From 2012 to 2014 he taught the Humaniatarian Communications module and a module on Conflict and Security in Africa in the School of Politics and International Studies at the University of Kent. From 2008 to 2011, he taught journalism at undergraduate and postgraduate level at Brunel University and was BA (Hons) Journalism course leader and Admissions Tutor for the MA in International Journalism. He was educated at St Clement Danes Grammar School, the University of Southampton, the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and Brunel University.

Why Zimbabwe's use of elephants to pay off old debt to China is problematic

Jan 09, 2017 05:07 am UTC| Insights & Views Nature

A bizarre story has recently come out of Zimbabwe. Grace Mugabe, the politically powerful wife of the ageing president Robert Mugabe, has came up with a plan to settle a debt to China with 35 young elephants, eight lions,...

Global Geopolitics Series

With proliferation of small arms, absence of war does not equal peace

Dec 17, 2016 01:49 am UTC| Insights & Views

There would appear to be little in common between recent news reports of armed raids in rural Nigeria and Kenya. The first involved the raiding of farming communities in Nigeria by armed Fulani livestock herders. The...

Nigeria: a corrupt culture or the result of a particular history?

Jun 20, 2016 06:59 am UTC| Insights & Views Law Economy

Just before the anti-corruption summit in London, British Prime Minister David Cameron made his now infamous public gaffe in a rather a silly, schoolboyish way. He boasted to the Queen: Weve got some leaders of some...

1 

Economy

SpaceX greenlighted to provide Starlink internet service to airplanes, ships

SpaceX has been granted permission to extend its satellite-based internet service to mobile vehicles, including ships, RVs, planes, cars, and other similar vehicles. The approval came from the US government. As per CNN...

Daily Harvest sued by customers for getting sick after consumption of its Crumbles product

Daily Harvest, a company specializing in healthy meal kits, has been hit with lawsuits after some consumers claimed they got sick after consuming the brands French Lentil and Leek Crumbles. Daily Harvest already issued...

Kohl’s aborts talks to sell its business to Franchise Group

Kohls, an American department store retail chain operated by Kohls Corporation, has ended its sales talks with the Franchise Group, a Virginia Beach, Virginia headquartered publicly traded holding company that acquires and...

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Samsung Electronics rolls out platform to allow gaming on smart TVs

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Politics

Afghanistan: Taliban asks foreign governments to formally recognize the insurgent group's administration

The national gathering of religious scholars and ethnic leaders in Afghanistan ended over the weekend. The event ended with the Taliban calling on foreign governments to formally recognize its administration. The...

Iran: Foreign minister says Tehran is ready to provide political solution in Turkey-Syria tensions

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Russia-Ukraine conflict: Russia withdraws from Snake Island, Black Sea outpost

Russia continues to wage war on Ukraine for the fourth month since the invasion in February, creating blockades in the Black Sea to disrupt exports. This week, in a victory for Ukraine, Russian forces withdrew from the...

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes communion at papal Mass in rebuke to US bishops

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was under scrutiny by the church in her home city of San Francisco over her support for abortion. Despite a bar from taking communion in her local church, Pelosi was seen accepting communion...

Science

New S. Korean technology repairs car scratches through sunlight exposure

The Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology has developed a new self-healing coating material that repairs car surface scratches through sunlight exposure. To change their chemical properties and make high...

Sea lettuce used as cow feed may lower marine ecosystem threat

A joint study conducted by a local feed manufacturer and Konkuk University showed that cows fed with a newly developed feed containing sea lettuce emitted 28 percent less methane gas than those who werent. Cows fed sea...

S. Korean scientists develop robot skin that senses tactile stimuli, self heals

A research team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a robot skin that can sense external tactile stimuli and recover from injury when damaged. The newly developed robot skin...

Absolut enlists startup's help in developing fiber-based bottle cap

The Absolut Company is enlisting the help of Swedish start-up Blue Ocean Closures in developing a fiber-based closure cap for its Absolut Vodka bottle. The caps design uses a combination of sustainably sourced FSC fiber...

S. Korea to produce biodegradable plastic with seaweed

South Koreas Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and a research team at Pohang University of Science and Technology will begin developing technology that uses marine plants to produce biodegradable plastic material. Among...

Technology

EA unveils ‘Skate 4’ ‘pre-pre-pre-alpha’ gameplay trailer

Skate 4 was announced nearly two years ago, but fans might still have to wait a long time before the game is released. EA and developer Full Circle released the latest trailer for the game, but it is not the usual teaser...

MacBook Air with M2 chip could arrive in stores in mid-July

The retail launch of the redesigned MacBook Air is reportedly close, with new information claiming that Apple fans will soon be able to pre-order the device. It appears that the tech giant is on track to release the new...

‘God of War: Ragnarok’ producer tells fans game is not delayed

Fans appear to be getting more impatient with the lack of updates and new teasers for God of War: Ragnarok. While Santa Monica Studio has yet to release new information, the game producer Cory Barlog assured fans that it...

Apple to implement legally-mandated external payment options in S. Korea

US tech giant Apple Inc. will allow alternative payment options for apps sold in South Korea in compliance with a law that bans app store operators from forcing their in-app payment systems. Developers whose apps a...

Samsung becomes first to mass-produce 3-nanometer nodes beating TSMC

South Koreas Samsung Electronics beat Taiwans TSMC in becoming the worlds first chipmaker to begin mass production of 3-nanometer process nodes. Both TSMC and Intel, which have made significant investments in the...
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