News in Africa
News is a concept prevalent in all spheres of life and Africa is no exception. The mode and format is going to be peculiar of course. The African reportage is diverse across various countries and even within the countries, the locals have their variation for the presentation of news in their setting.
To begin, there are news agencies that strive to cover stories across the globe. Examples of such agencies are AfricaNews and The Africa Report. They do this by gleaning major events happening across the continents and feature those events on their website. Usually these news items have a slight global connection or it is the kind that almost all of Africa can relate to. For example, Burkina Faso claiming their first ever Olympic medal is a good candidate because Burkina Faso, an African country has won a medal in a global event. Another news item, “the economy of Togo suffers under coronavirus-prevention border closure” is news about an African country dealing with a global pandemic.
The second category of news agencies in Africa today are the official in-country news agencies. They may or may not belong to the government of the day in that country. These are the agencies the government usually communicates to the nation through. Their broadcast channels consist of radio, newspapers, television and the internet. In a survey done by Geopoll in Ghana, it recorded that the patronage of the newspapers for news was higher than the patronage of televisions and radio. The reason for this may be primarily due to the cost of acquiring and maintaining TV or radio. The statistics may not be so different from other African countries since newspapers are cheap and readily available. The in-country news agencies, in their effort to reach every Tom, Dick and Harry of the country, have a section for the presentation of the news in the local language.
It is to be noted that while some countries have the press freedom to cover any news article they seem fit, other countries may not have that luxury and may be prosecuted for covering opposing views of the government. An example of such a country is Zimbabwe. After 41 years of independence, journalists are still being intimidated while conducting their work. “In May last year, Zimbabwean journalist Samuel Takawira, 30, was arrested for interviewing hospitalized opposition activists who had protested against the government’s alleged failure to provide relief to the poor during the COVID-19 lockdown” (Moyo, 2021).
AfricaNews. (2021, August 29). Africanews | Latest breaking news, daily news and African news from Africa. https://www.africanews.com/
Elliott, R. (2018, May 8). Ghana Media Measurement Report: Top TV, Radio, and Print Outlets in 2017. GeoPoll. https://www.geopoll.com/blog/ghana-media-measurement-report-top-tv-radio-print-outlets-2017/
Moyo, J. (2021, May 3). Zimbabwe: ‘Press freedom suffers even after independence.’ AA.Com.Tr. https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/zimbabwe-press-freedom-suffers-even-after-independence-/2227664