22 May, 2012

Sthembiso    Sithole

                         African Reporting Brought to the Spot Light
The issue of how the media reports on African stories has always been a discussion that media practitioners, journalists, government officials and ordinary citizens have always discussed.

The International Relation and Cooperation in partnership with Oresego Holdings hosted a second Media and Communications Colloquia titled “Telling the African Story: Presenting the Continent to the world”. The event was held at OR Tambo Building, Pretoria on 21 May.

Minister of Home Affairs addressing
at Media Communication Colloquia

Different media practitioners, journalists and government officials such as The Star Editor Makhudu Sefara, political adviser to the presidency Charles Nqakula and Minister of Home Affairs and former Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was amongst those who attended the event.

“What is story telling? How to tell it in your advantage? Those are the questions that were asked by Koffi  Kouakou a senior lecturer and programme convener at the Wits University Public and Development Management during the debate about how media reports on Africa.

The debate was on, as the panel debated some of the challenges that are faced in the African media landscape. One of those challenges that were debated are ownership of the media and what influences the stories that editors chose when running their publications and news bulletins.

Charles Nqakul, Mandy Rossouw
and Makhudu Sefara
 Nqakula expressed his views on the media reports about Africa. “The story that we are carrying is about failure. The president cannot read his speech that is a story.”         

Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma also took part in the debate were she made her remarks about the theme of the Colloquium. She spoke about the need to tell African and South African stories.

In her opening remarks she said “Telling a story should be our collective responsibility media and all of us.”

“There is a saying that says as long as lions don’t have historians the story will be told by the hunter, we should tell our own story,” Dlamini said.

Mail& Guardian political reporter Mandy Rossouw responded to the remarks that were made by Nqakula that the media reports mostly about negative things that are taking place within government while there are good things that are done e.g. opening clinics and so on.

“Why should we congratulate what the government is supposed to do while my editor does not congratulate me when coming to work?”

The audience were also given a platform to ask questions and one of the questions that were asked was what can journalism schools do to ensure that journalism students are taught about the need to tell African stories.

Other debating panels were Tsepiso Makwetla PM Live presenter an Mzilikazi Wa Afrika and Profesor Pippa Green.

 Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma also urged young journalists to report about African stories

 “Young journalist should be inquisitive and should want to find out for themselves and not write down stories they hear from other people. They should find out for themselves, they should tell stories themselves and should be proud themselves to be Africans

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