New York-based The Africa Centre; the narrative-changing organisation, Africa No Filter, Media Monitoring Africa and the University of Cape Town have collaborated to develop the Global Media Index that will engage in tracking and measuring the ways Africa is covered by top-tier global media outlets.
The Global Media Index will put 20 front line global media platforms to critically analyse their ways of telling Africa’s stories, the voices being heard, the prioritised topics as well as the general ways they are being covered.
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The Global Media Index will also highlight best practices in reporting about Africa.
By drawing from a range of processes, including content analysis, institutional analysis and interviews with journalists working for global media outlets, the project aims to establish the dominant themes, narratives and journalistic practices shaping Africa’s image.
The research will be led by Herman Wasserman, a professor of Media Studies at UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies, who will work with Associate Professors Tanja Bosch, Wallace Chuma and Dr Meli Ncube, also from UCT, in collaboration with William Bird from Media Monitoring Africa.
Moky Makura, the Executive Director of Africa No Filter, said: “Very few institutions are as powerful as the global news media. As storytellers to millions of audiences, the news media set agendas for policy-making, frame political debate and shape global public perceptions.”
Also, Uzodinma Iweala, CEO of The Africa Center, called the Index necessary and timely, “If we are going to change narratives about the continent and its Diaspora so that they are more representative and reflective, we must have a baseline understanding of what those narratives are and where they reside. This Index is a step in the right direction.”
The project is scheduled to be launched launch this year.