Friday, March 19, 2010

Project on Africa media coverage launched

An ambitious initiative that seeks to transform how African Journalists cover development issues has been launched in the country.

The project, dubbed Reporting Development Network Africa (RDNA), was unveiled on Wednesday night at a ceremony in Nairobi on the eve of the Pan African Media Conference.

The conference, whose major theme is 'Reflections on the past, present and prospects for the future' is being held as part of celebrations to mark Nation Media Group's golden jubilee.

RDNA is an initiative of Highway Africa, a partnership involving Rhodes University's School of Journalism and Media Studies, the South African Broadcasting Corporation and the South African Department of Communications.

While unveiling the initiative, Prof Fackson Banda -the chair of the RDNA advisory board, said the programme will seek to increase in-depth and analytical coverage of African development issues.

Such issues include Agriculture, Trade, Tourism amongst others in order to foster public debate and inform related policy decisions.

And he challenged journalists and other media practitioners in the country to re-focus their energies more on highlighting such issues as this will be key in enhancing development in their respective countries.

"Journalists around the continent have a very big role of enhancing development within their regions. This initiative will therefore assist them in making making this a reality," said Mr Banda.

His sentiments were echoed by Mr Chris Kibwato, Highway Africa's Director who challenged the continent's leadership to create an enabling environment which will enable development activities to thrive.

Mr Kibwato said the initiative, which recently received a US $750,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, will provide opportunities for journalists, editors and media industry leaders, to explore innovative news platforms and build related technology skills.

International Institute for ICT Journalism

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