Journalism in Africa is really making a difference to global perceptions of the continent. It provides an opportunity to inform the world audience about the realities of modern and to smash the negative stereotypes that have dogged the continent for too long.
Whenever I travel in Africa I’m now gripped by the range of new journalism content that is being created. From the streetwise radicalism of the True Africa website to the anti-corruption investigative journalism websites in Nigeria there’s a real determination to tell Africa’s story through new eyes.
I had the privilege to meet young students from Nairobi’s Mulitmedia University and see this new journalism in action for myself. A former BBC colleague of mine always used to say that there were two Africas – the vibrant exciting one he lived in and the negative and suffering one he watched on the TV News. Now journalists across the continent are setting about making sure all aspects are getting fully reported.
I met with leaders from the Mulitmedia University and enjoyed hearing the aspirations of Director Nancy Booker and Acting Dean Wilson Ugangu who will now be working with me and my UCLan colleagues to develop a new Africa partnership between our two institutions.
The partnership comes as the BBC announced a massive investment into journalism in Africa. It is to create five new language services in East and West Africa. For Ethiopia there’s a new service in Amharic, for Eritrea a Tiginya service, and three new services in Nigeria in Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin.
It’s a vote of confidence in Africa and the crucial role that independent and impartial journalism has in society. I have no doubt that this investment will encourage all our aspiring journalists on the continent that the future of journalism in Africa is bright.
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