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New life for local journalism

Editors, reporters and academics gather in Malawi to discuss local media

Many journalists who do local news have low self-esteem, says Abdul Brima from Freetown in Sierra Leone. The former KAS journalism scholar was one of 20 editors, reporters and media managers who gathered from February 28th to March 3rd on the shores of Lake Malawi to discuss ways to improve the quality of local news in African media.

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Salima 4

That a story from the village can be of national or even international interest was one of their findings. As was the difficulty for editors to try and break international news down to the living circumstances of the local media consumer. It was understood that, as former KAS Chairman Bernhard Vogel once mentioned: “whoever wants to find his way round the world needs to know what happens at home.”

Clearly the importance of local news has to be underlined by an improvement in its quality as well as by media owners who discover the need to incorporate more local media users into the fold. Said Motunrayo Alaka of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism in Lagos: “Tell the story nuanced and sincerely – apply the highest standards.”

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Christoph Plate

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Director Media Programme Southeast Europe +359 2 942-4971 +359 2 94249-79


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