The political will of African leaders will deter the pejorative representation of the continent and create pan-African media that will deliver reliable and accurate information to the global audience, journalism experts said.
It is to be recalled that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) proposed the establishment of a pan-African media to participants of the 36th Assembly of the African Union (AU).
Commenting on the issue to the Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA), Assistant Professor of Journalism and Communication at Addis Ababa University (AAU) Samson Mekonnen (PhD) stated that the corporate media have been hugely engaging to cast Africa as a place of disorder and dismemberment.
Accordingly, translating Premier Abiy’s initiative to reality would enable the continent to reverse the well-coordinated media assault and to tell its own story. Almost every day, the western media unashamedly crank out and spread lies and disinformation on Africa.
Noting the western media’s dominance of the global political system, the academician highlighted that the establishment of a free and independent continental media is instrumental in repulsing the unwarranted pressure.
Some western powers are waging information war using their media as a tool to put pressure and interfere on the domestic affairs of developing countries. Thus, the formation of vibrant media will have a significant impact in halting such kinds of tendencies.
Samson further highlighted that the prevailing conflicts in various hotspots of Africa coupled with the immense natural resources have kept the continent attractive to the international media. To proactively eschew the corporate media lies, Africa needs to establish a financially capable and professionally equipped continental outlet.
African leaders and academia also need to discharge their role in supporting the establishment of a continental media by allowing the free movement of journalists and providing necessary information to the media.
Sharing the above rationale, Journalism and Communication Lecturer at Haramaya University Denasew Shimeles said that modernization does not mean resembling the West. Modernization denotes promoting African culture to the rest of the world and repulsing the corporate media’s disregard of African values.
Since Africa doesn’t have a media that tells its truth to the world, this limitation paves the way for corporate outlets to nurture the global community’s negative perception towards the continent.
Having a continental media will play a paramount role in presenting the true future of the continent to the global audience and successfully curbing the western’s media defaming narratives, the academician remarked.
The Ethiopian Herald 26 February 2023 BY HAILE DEMEKE