10 May, Johannesburg: Narrative change organisation Africa No Filter has partnered with the Thomson Foundation for a groundbreaking digital course called African Stories: A guide for journalists on how to tell better stories about Africa.
The course aims to disrupt stereotypical news and storytelling about Africa by helping journalists develop a fresh reporting style beyond framing Africa through conflict, disease, poverty, corruption and poor leadership.
It will be presented by journalism and media experts. Catherine Mackie is an Editorial Associate at the Thomson Foundation and a former BBC senior journalist. Dr Njoki Chege is the Director of the Innovation Centre at the Graduate School of Media and Communications at the Aga Khan University in Nairobi. Moses Mutabaruka is the founder of TAP Media Ltd and editor of TAP magazine, a pan-African platform that tells stories from an African perspective. Anas Aremeyaw Anas is an internationally acclaimed undercover investigative journalist, while Doreen Wainainah is Managing Editor of PesaCheck, Africa's largest indigenous fact-checking organisation.
The course is designed to boost participants with in-demand skills like mobile journalism, visual and multiplatform storytelling. It offers techniques for finding missing voices in African stories, tips and tools for sourcing, verifying information, and structuring stories beyond stereotypes - valuable resources for journalists who want to monetise global conversations about shifting narratives, ethical storytelling, and diversity of voices and ideas in African news.
Moky Makura, Executive Director at Africa No Filter (ANF), said: “There is an increasing body of evidence that shows people want more inspiring, uplifting human interest stories and content they can relate to. If journalists want to remain current, they need to up their skills and write what their audience wants to read, and at the moment, it’s news that goes far beyond the journalism adage that ‘if it bleeds, it leads.”
Deborah Kelly, Director of Training and Communications at Thomson Foundations, said: “By taking this course, journalists will be part of a pivotal change taking place in African journalism, which looks to offer a new style of storytelling, changing the one-dimensional narrative that is too often portrayed of an entire continent by international news organisations and, in many instances, by African media itself.”
In addition to a certificate of completion, participants will also get the opportunity to pitch their stories and get paid to be published on bird, Africa’s first agency for alternative stories about the continent. Bird stories are published by more than 30 media partners across Africa, including Nation Group in Kenya, Big Cabal in Nigeria and Arena Media in South Africa.
Tom Kirkwood, Founding Editor and head of Nairobi-based Africa InSight, said: “There has never been a better time for bird to take its growth to the next level by creating opportunities for African journalists to tell richer and more dynamic stories, whilst also providing a platform that pays for the kind of African stories that are still significantly underrepresented in the media.”
About Africa No Filter: We are a donor collaborative working to shift stereotypical and harmful narratives within and about Africa through research, grant-making, community building and advocacy. Our objective is to build the field of narrative change-makers by supporting storytellers, investing in media platforms, and driving disruption campaigns. The donor collaborative is funded by Ford Foundation, Bloomberg, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Luminate, Open Society Foundations, Comic Relief, the Hilton Foundation, the British Council and Hewlett Foundation.
About Thomson Foundation: We are experts on journalism matters providing expertise for journalists by journalists with training and digital solutions for business growth.
About bird: We are a story agency designed to shift narratives about and in Africa away from harmful stereotypes. We produce multimedia stories designed for a youthful, mobile-first audience for distribution to Africa's leading digital news platforms. If you are interested in becoming a media partner, please contact Tom Kirkwood at firstname.lastname@example.org
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