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The Africa Center and Africa No Filter Launch the Global Media Index for Africa

In collaboration with Africa No Filter and The University of Cape Town, The Africa Center is pleased to announce the launch of the Global Media Index for Africa (GMI), a tool developed to track and assess the standards, trends, and emergent themes in the international news media’s reporting on Africa. As countries on the continent continue to advance down the long and often difficult road of nation-building, it is important for the journalism that informs our understanding of these places to remain responsive to the profound changes that accompany this process, rather than serving to validate or perpetuate existing narratives.

Given The Africa Center and Africa No Filter’s shared institutional focus on narrative change, and University of Cape Town’s robust journalism and media studies discipline, the Global Media Index for Africa was conceived as a means to promote more nuanced and substantive reporting on the continent, and ultimately to challenge dominant narratives about the continent that do not accurately represent contemporary African life. 

As narratives in the news media influence how the public understands and engages with Africa, the crafters of these narratives have a responsibility to do so with thoughtfulness and empathy. But rather than seeking to push for specific alternative narratives, or to replace “bad” narratives with “good” ones, the GMI aims to ensure that reporting on the continent is guided by the same rigor and attention to detail that have historically characterized the best journalism.

 

The index assesses the performance of each of the top 20 most circulated news publications across the world (relative to each other) based on variables that we have identified as being most consequential to high quality reporting. These include: the diversity of story topics covered, diversity of story sources, diversity in the number of African countries covered, and the depth of the coverage. Taken together, these four factors help offer a more insightful and granular look at how our narratives about Africa are being formed. 

Download the full report here.

 

The Global Media Index for Africa is a collaboration between The Africa Center and Africa No Filter that tracks how 20 of the world’s most influential news providers cover Africa. The research and report were produced by researchers at the University of Capetown. 

 

 

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