Media News

Covering Crises in Africa

Reporters discuss their journalism experiences on the continent

The Zimbabwe Centre for Media and Information Literacy held an online conference titled "Re-imagining Journalism and Democracy in Times of Crisis." The conference addressed issues including the crackdown on independent journalists in some African countries, such as Zimbabwe and Uganda, as well as the rise of fake news and propaganda.

Reporters and media organizations are tasked with gathering and sharing information, but they also require protection. The Campfire Talk, titled "Tips and Tricks for Covering Crises in Africa," was vital because it allowed reporters who had lived through similar events to share their perspectives on the realities of crisis reporting on the continent. The discussion, moderated by KAS Media Africa’s Director Christoph Plate, delved deeper into the security dangers and safety nets accessible to journalists and media practitioners in such situations.

Plate was joined by Somali journalist Abdalle Ahmed Mumin who discussed the nature of crisis reporting in his homeland. He explained that journalists in recent times have to navigate added pressures – including terrorism, piracy, and Covid-19.

The second panelist, Swiss-based Jean-Luc Mootoosamy – as an international correspondent who worked in countries such as Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo – addressed the lasting effects on journalists when reporting on crises. “Conflict is part of their lives,” he said. “It affects them directly, their families, it’s also difficult for a journalist to keep their distance.”

In closing, Plate stated that “this work needs knowledge, it needs courage and it needs like-minded colleagues… it needs a public that appreciates and acknowledges the work and it needs publishers and editors who are aware of what risks their colleagues out there are taking”.


Christoph Plate

Christoph Plate bild

Director Media Programme Subsahara Africa +27 (11) 214 2900-101 +27 11 214 2913