28 November 2012

African Media Can Correct the Continent's Tarnished Image


More than 200 journalists from across the continent converged in Kigali this week to chart the way forward for Africa's Fourth Estate.

The gathering extensively discussed how African media can do more to report events and issues on the continent.

The reliance on foreign news agencies for what's happening in Africa has many a time framed the continent inaccurately.

Images of poverty, conflict and hopelessness have constantly dominated what is reported about Africa on foreign media - which Africans consume extensively.

And, even when reporting these unfortunate issues, it's done inaccurately. African media should step up to the plate and portray the continent for what it actually is.

Media houses on the continent should coordinate and network with each other. Of course there is an issue of cost, where media houses can't afford to have reporters on all parts of the continent; however, by setting up a platform for networking, the journalists can share news.

It is time African journalists take charge of defining the continent. Politicians, business persons should invest and work closely with the media to empower it so that it can operate freely and objectively.

The benefits of a vibrant and profitable media are far reaching. Africa is on the move, the media should not be left behind.

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