Pan African Media with International Impact

Lots of Africans have experiences in working for international media. But Africa does not have its own media with an international effect.

Among African media personalities with internationally acknowledged experiences is the renowned Kenyan Joseph Warungu. He was the former editor of BBC African Service.

I had the chance to meet him when he came to Addis Ababa launching African Media Initiative a decade ago. But I am not sure whether the Initiative continued to do as it was planned. I am sure that Africa needs its own media both in the “traditional” and digital systems. The Black Continent needs its own broadcaster, its own newspaper, its own digital media,its own voice, its own image,and what have you.

To do so the media like SABC(South African Broadcasting Service), The and EBC(Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation) can be upgraded and grow their influence like that of RTV, ANADOLU, ALJEZIRA. Or new African media organizations can be formed like VOA(Voice of Africa), ABC(African Broadcasting Corporation), RA(Rising Africa) and the likes.

It is only doing this, this time that Africa shows its other side which is obscured by the western media to the world to diminish the influences of Western media like that of CNN, AP, Reuters and BBC which are mostly engaged in reporting only the evil one most of the time.

Africa shall also have its own papers with growing influence. The future newspapers like African with millions of copies circulating around the continent and beyond reporting issues of high importance create favorable image of the people.

African voices donot ignore development efforts in Africa unreported and would rather not refrain from concentrating on sensational stories like that of American or European papers, radio, television and digital media. For the image or voice of Africa, the construction of a bridge shall make news like that of its demolition. For African media, peace and reconciliation shall make news than war reporting.

The reverse is also true for the Western media as every one of usknows.Moreover, the Western media made series of dispatches on issues of their national interest than reporting good news about Africa. The trapping of a puppy in a London Metro creating a traffic jam is a headline than a million people being starved in Africa or America. Remember Charlie Hebdo shooting half a decade ago? It was the headline in the Western Media. Ofcourse it deserves a screamer headline. But at the same time in Africa Boko Haram killed a thousand people somewhere in West Africa and millions of people are near to death in famine and diseases elsewhere in Africa. However; the African issue didn`t even get a coverage on Western Media. This reminds me of a bitter joke on news worthiness in one of the Western Mediawhom I do not mention its name. What makes news for them, the joke goes on, the killing of one English, ten Scottish, 20 West Europeans, 100 East Europeans and 1000 Africans. Currently their reporting on African issues is as bitter as that.

What is surprising is the references African media make on reporting about Africa. As the African media are staggering with limited resources, they quote the same Western Media for events happening in Africa. A Kenyan newspaper would attribute its news source saying “according to the BBC” for an event which takes place in Ethiopia or a radio station in Ethiopia would quote CNN or Reuters for an event which happens next door in Eritrea. This may not be a problem by itself. But as these Western Media report mostly the “bad” from Africa this has to stop somewhere. As Africans, we have to quote our very own African source as far as possible.

Let me began by quoting a local media for an African issue. In an interview given in 2013 for the weekly Addis Admass published in Ethiopia Joseph Warungu underlined that African media needs to be strong and free when asked about African Media Initiative. “We need the stories published in Africa to be read in America and other parts of the world beyond Africa.”

When the former Editor in Chief of BBC African service was asked the reasons for leaving the BBC He said “Africa needs me more than Europe.” So international journalists of African origin like Joseph, Africa needs you! Come and become her images and voices. The time is now for famous journalists to come back to Africa and serve in their profession of journalism. Back to Africa movement of these days must be this sort. No more to the supremacy of Western Media which called itself an international media!

Not only that, investing in the media sector in Africa with other business tycoons so as to create an influential media from the continent to show that Mama Africa is not darkand that it is abright continent with bright future. Let Africa create her ownRupert Murdoch, Her own Ted Turner, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett etc.

Africa has been considered a continent of ignorance, famine, tribalism,war, coup, conflict by the Western and pro-Western media. It is the role of Pan African media to show that Africa is not always like that. It is expected from a pan African media to report that Africa is a continent of love, hope, prosperity, brightness and so based on principles of journalism and newsworthiness. Who else shows Africa is a land of humanity than a Pan African media?

It is with this in mind that upcoming international media of African origin shall work in the future to be voices of Africa. G.T.N.A (Global Television Network of Africa) an Ethiopian based international media is a better beginning to become the voice of Africa. News items from African perspective-coming soon!



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