Now for the good news" – Red Cross Red Crescent calls for positive stories about Africa
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – the world's largest humanitarian and development organization – wants to challenge the frequent negative portrayals of Africa. To do so, the organization has launched the Good News for Africa competition - an opportunity for journalists to showcase their stories that highlight the positive developments happening every day in Africa..
"This is not about ignoring the real challenges faced by communities on this continent," explained Alasan Senghore, head of IFRC West and Central Africa Zone. "There are huge challenges that need to be overcome, and these need to be identified and analyzed. But at the same time, there are untold stories about resilience and strength in the face of this adversity."
The IFRC commissioned independent research into western perceptions about Africa in late 2008. The research confirmed what many in Africa – and in humanitarian organizations working in Africa – already felt. The use of negative terms were three times more frequent than positive ones in the media coverage of Africa.
"We want to celebrate the solutions and strengths that help communities overcome and even prevent disasters, health crises and other shocks. These are the seeds of development, and they need to be celebrated and emphasized. These stories are all too often lost amidst stories that emphasize corruption, disasters and conflict," said Alasan Senghore.
The Good News for Africa competition is open to any journalist who regularly works in the production of news for any newspaper, periodical, news service or television or radio news organization in Africa. Journalists are invited to submit their stories or pieces for radio and television that best show the positive developments that are continuously taking place in Africa. Whilst humanitarian and development work is obviously important in this context, journalists are free to submit stories that highlight other positive issues.
Submissions will be accepted up to 1 November, 2009. The winners of the competition will be announced at the IFRC's General Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, which is being held from 18-21 November. The Good News for Africa competition was originally announced at the October 2008 Red Cross Red Crescent Pan African Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa.
For more information on the Good News for Africa competition, or to submit a piece, journalists can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ifrc.org/believe. A selection of entries will be featured on the IFRC's website in the lead up to the announcement of competition winners.
For more information, please contact:
Noora Kero, communications manager (IFRC, Dakar) Tel: + 221 77 637 66 96
Moustapha Diallo, communication officer (IFRC, Dakar) Tel: +221 77 450 10 04
Paul Conneally, manager, media and external communications (IFRC, Geneva) Tel: +41 79 308 9809
The IFRC, the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross together constitute the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. For further information on International Federation activities, please visit our web site: www.ifrc.org