Category: AIF Issue 53

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Challenges and hope for Africa’s media sustainability

African media: where to? High data costs, internet shutdowns, fake news and constant technological disruptions are plaguing Africa’s media. Yet many in the sector are hopeful Across the African continent, media are looking at ways to remain relevant in an age when technological disruptions have upended the business models for the sector. They are not […]

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Africa’s technological arms race

Digital surveillance: real and present danger Telecommunications snooping has emerged as a fundamental threat to African journalists Many journalists and researchers will remember the mid-2000s as halcyon days, when a panoply of digital research applications were generated for the public good. The possibility of sharing spreadsheets using cloud services, algorithms to reveal patterns of information […]

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The writing on the wall

African media: where are the marketers? Marketing is vital in identifying how to monetise not only digital platforms but also traditional media This has been particularly evident in the continent’s newspaper industry, which has distinguished itself with what could probably be described as the worst marketing strategy ever. However, we can note that the same […]

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Media freedom under siege

African governments are using anti-state, false news and cybercrime laws in their attempts to silence journalists Cameroon news anchor Samuel Wazizi, one of 39 journalists jailed in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) latest prison census, has not been seen or heard of since the police detained him and handed him […]

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Local heroes

The media: no place to hide Journalism is a high-risk job for African reporters, who are often not only undertrained and underpaid but also face jail, injury, even death A promising young journalist told me of covering a recent riot and tweeting an update on the action on his cell phone when he fortunately looked […]

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Cheap, flexible and growing

Radio: power to the people Terrestrial radio remains the most popular means of accessing news and entertainment in Africa, even with the advent of the internet Of all the media platforms, radio is still, by far, the most pervasive form of media across Africa. It covers a greater geography than any other media form, reaching […]

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Reporting from the margins

Women in media: glass ceilings Too many African women media professionals find their advancement frustrated by traditional cultural roles and gender stereotypes Zambian journalist Ruth Kanyanga Kamwi has been in the journalism trade for 20 years and is all too familiar with the particular challenges that African women media professionals face from their own colleagues […]

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We’re reporters, that’s what we are

Profile: Mondli Makhanya Veteran newspaper editor Mondli Makhanya describes himself as an idealist who believes the mainstream media still has the power to bring about change When Mondli Makhanya says the media landscape is ‘‘tough all around’’, he knows what he is talking about. When he was editor of South Africa’s biggest weekend newspaper, the […]

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This is your time

Media: women in the news Although there are still relatively few women occupying leadership positions in African media organisations, that is changing in countries like Nigeria and Kenya Africa has a perennially poor record on gender issues. From maternal mortality to economic empowerment, the continent is beset by social problems that particularly affect women. Of […]

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Shaped by their histories

Sowetan: a case study The role of organisational culture in journalism can be seen in the rise and decline of South Africa’s iconic newspaper the Sowetan What is it to be an “African journalist”? Working in African countries can mean operating in challenging conditions, with limited resources and sometimes restrictive political environments. African media have […]

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A quest for unchecked power

Press freedom: the fiercest battle How South African private media played a pivotal role in mobilising civil society to expose a corrupt president and his cronies What is it to be an “African journalist”? Working in African countries can mean operating in challenging conditions, with limited resources and sometimes restrictive political environments. African media have […]

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