The recent published study that was reported by the African Media Initiative (AMI) which suggests that African Media offer ‘very little’ cross-border reporting which according to the report ‘limit’ in-depth knowledge of the continent. The report highlighted that most information about Africa comes from sources outside the continent and ultimately determines what has been called “The discourse on Africa”.
During the just concluded 4th Forum on China-Africa Media Cooperation in Beijing, where more than 400 representatives attended the forum including ministers from China and 45 African countries and representatives from African Union of Broadcasting and Chinese and African radio, film and TV organizations.
The forum led to a joint statement on further deepening exchanges, content sharing and cooperation between China and African media with special emphasis on upholding the principle of equality, mutual trust and win-win cooperation.
The AMI report underscores the fact that global media organizations are a powerful tool not only to shape the global agenda, but also to frame Africa’s perceptions of Africa and the World.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of African Media Initiatives (AMI), Roukaya Kasenally, expressed that, “We wanted to understand how Africa is covered by the media on the continent and the factors that determine that coverage.” She went on that, “We were concerned with question about how the media in Africa have contributed to creating a common understanding of the realities of the continent beyond preconception-based narratives and stereotypes,” she measured.
Both China and African Media Cooperation have conducted extensive and in-depth discussions on such three topics including Exchanges of policies, Discourse right building (piracy) and the China-Africa Media Digitalization and content Industry Development.
The Forum has become an important platform for promoting China-Africa Media dialogue, an effective mechanism for practical cooperation since it formation in 2012. Four years later (2016), the Africa Link Union (ALU) was initiated by 18 African media organizations and CCTV+ as an international news media association aiming at providing members with media services for free.
The ALU came out of the background that not much was been broadcast on the international news including social media and online about Africa and China. So, in the ALU platform, members can receive daily news content from CCTV+, CGTN-French and CGTN-Africa. Members can also upload local news stories to CCTV+ global distribution system to spread the voice of Africa across the world.
One of the media representatives from Kenya National Broadcasting Cooperation, Zipporah Wangari Muthui, expressed there is a lot China and African media can cooperate on in the area of content sharing, production, packaging and support with equipment.
She said despite the fact that Africa is by far behind in the area of digital migration but both China and African has a lot in common which if well produce can be accepted globally thereby reaching and informing more people about achievements made in the continent. She said the issue of not much been told about Africa by the media is true but despite that, she was convinced that there is lots more to achieve.
The African Media Initiative report highlighted, “The fact that limited media investment and limited professional capacity in many countries had led to a persistent dependence on foreign sources of information, limiting the interest of African newspapers in topics that enrich the African agenda and focus on shared experiences.”
In terms of content sharing and protection on rights and piracy, in 2017, apparently 13 members uploaded 1,537 news stories into the CCTV+ which was shared and used by other members. Those news stories were release to over 1,700 international TV channels by their website and new media accounts.
This is inline with the core values and objectives behind the formation of the China-African Media Forum where members can gain broadcasting rights of Chinese film and television content including television drama series, cartoons and documentaries.
The joint statement after the 4th Session of the China-African Media Cooperation outlined that, the both sides have taken effective measures to actively implement the various tasks in media sector as was mentioned in the 2015 Johannesburg Declaration, looking into the future the two sides agreed to; intensify policy dialogue, uphold the Silk Road sprit of peace and cooperation, timely, accurate and panoramic coverage of China-Africa Cooperation and updates on economic and social development, news coverage, content production, and channel development, hence the continuous support toward digital migration.
Mohamed Kabba,Twitter: @chikakabba
Thursday July 26, 2018.