June 13, 2017
The Soul Beat

Soul Beat Africa

The Soul Beat 268 - Media (for) Development in Africa
June 13 2017
From SOUL BEAT AFRICA - where communication and media are central to AFRICA's social and economic development
In this issue:

This issue of The Soul Beat e-newsletter focuses on the role of the media in promoting good governance and development in Africa. It includes a selection of reports posted onto the Soul Beat Africa website
that offer insight into current thinking and research around media development and media freedom, as well as highlight some of the challenges and solutions. It also includes a list of resources to support the media and media institutions to report on development-related issues - such as health, governance, and gender.


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  • 1. Constraints and Opportunities: What Role for Media Development in the Countering Violent Extremism Agenda? [September 2016]
    By Michelle Betz
    International Media Support (IMS) reminds us that media developers around the world work with institutions, organisations, and individuals to ensure that reliable and professional information is available to communities and to spark and encourage responsible debate that is key to good governance. By extension, the fight against both terrorism and countering violent extremism (CVE) stresses the importance of media development. This paper seeks to provide initial guidance on the definition of CVE and what it means for the media development sector, its donors, and other organisations that work with media developers.
  • 2. Information-Education-Participation: Media Use among Youth in Uganda [July 2016]
    By Anke Fiedler and Michael Meyen
    This report summarises the findings of a media use study that was conducted in Autumn 2014 in the Ugandan districts of Kampala, Mbale, Lira, Pader, and Gulu. The study sought to understand how youth access and use media in order to inform a media development strategy that takes into consideration the situation and needs of youth in Uganda. As explained in the report, media can play an important role in supporting young people and should do so by including youth via innovative, participatory media formats, as this will enable them to better fight for their rights and contribute to the improvement of their own lives.
  • 3. Same Beds, Different Dreams? Charitable Foundations and Newsroom Independence in the Global South [February 2017]
    By Anya Schiffrin
    This report seeks to shed light on how the relationships between private foundations and media outlets are working in developing countries. The report is based on qualitative research designed to gather information about the processes of grant giving, the perceptions that donors and recipients have of their relationship, and the effect it has on editorial independence. It seeks to answer some of the following questions: Is it a case of "same beds, different dreams?" Is this marriage of convenience a happy one? What can be done to make sure that journalism's independence is respected and that independent media is being cultivated and sustained?
  • 4. Supporting Safety of Journalists in Kenya: An Assessment Based on UNESCO's Journalists' Safety Indicators [May 2016]
    This report documents the state of journalists' safety and the issue of impunity by providing an overview of the safety situation for journalists in Kenya and the responsibilities of all stakeholders in addressing the issue of journalists' safety in the country. Based on these key indicators, the findings provide a snapshot of a particular point in time, from which progress can be measured and areas for further work identified.
  • 5. Journalism in Conflict and Post-Conflict Conditions: Worldwide Perspectives [May 2016]
    Edited by Kristin Skare Orgeret and William Tayeebwa
    The ten chapters in this book consider the problems and the potential of the role of journalism and media within the complex field of conflict and peace. Jointly, they provide examples of how different conflict and post-conflict may be and that such phases are processes, but not necessarily linear. The aim of the book is "to provide both empirical and theoretical input to the discussions of the role of journalism and media in conflict and post-conflict situations and in the often rather muddy waters between them." Together, the contributions to this book from different parts of the world emphasise that discussions about post-conflict situations will gain from including the media.
  • 6. Turn Up The Volume: Empowering Women Through Media: Lessons from BBC Media Action's Governance Programming [October 2016]
    By Josephine Casserly
    Based on the experience of BBC Media Action's work in producing factual programmes that deal with politics and governance, this practice briefing sets out what BBC Media Action has learned about how to make media more gender inclusive, thereby encouraging both men and women to hold their leaders to account and empowering them to participate in their own communities. The briefing highlights some of the challenges faced and the solutions found, and examines how effective the programmes have been in reaching and impacting on men and women equally. The paper draws on data from all 2011-2016 factual governance Global Grant projects in nine countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania.
  • 7. Using Media Freedom Indices in Media Development: How the Different Information Tools Can Be Used [October 2016]
    By Laura Schneider
    "Media freedom rankings reveal much about the state of the media around the world. That makes them popular with media development organizations and donors needing to decide where to invest their resources. But this entails knowing what kind of information press freedom indices actually supply and what the shortcomings and biases of each index are. It also means understanding how this information can be used in the field of media development - and how not to use it." This DW Akademie publication gives insight into how the top 5 media freedom rankings are produced, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how media development organisations can use each index to inform their work.
  • 8. Gender on the Agenda: Narratives of Masculinity in South African Media [January, 2015]
    By Sandra Banjac, Lethabo Dibetso, and Sophie Haikali (ed.)
    This report shares findings of a study exploring masculinity and masculine identity among male and female media consumers in South Africa. Traditionally, most gender media monitoring exercises have focused primarily on women; this research was conducted to highlight how masculinity is communicated through language and how far news media reflect or possibly distorts the way men (and women) perceive their social gender roles and identities.
  • Click here for more Strategic Thinking Reports from the Soul Beat Africa Media Development theme site.

  • 9. Trusted Voices in Challenging Times: Civil Society and Media Leadership (CSML) Program - Final Report [February 2016]
    This final report highlights the activities and achievements of the Civil Society and Media Leadership (CSML) Program, which was led by IREX in partnership with The Carter Center and Social Impact. Launched in 2010, this five-and-a-half-year project was designed to contribute to building a more capable, collaborative, and agile civil society and media sector in Liberia, a country recovering from fourteen years of civil conflict. The goal of the project was to "sustain peace in Liberia through greater inclusion, giving a voice to, informing and engaging Liberian citizens."

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  • 10. Covering Sexual and Gender Minorities & Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa - A Reporting Guide for Journalists [2017]
    By Brian Pellot
    This reporting guide is designed to help journalists report ethically and sensitively on issues related to sexual and gender minorities and religion in order to improve coverage of these issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. As explained in the guide: "In Sub-Saharan Africa, as in much of the world, reporting on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SOGIE) can be tricky. Cultural taboos, entrenched stereotypes, social hostilities, legal prohibitions and editorial censorship often distort coverage of these sensitive topics. Add religion to the mix and producing responsible journalism on sexual and gender minorities can seem impossible."
  • 11. Guide to Reporting Civic Space: Media Toolkit [2017]
    This toolkit is designed to inform the media about the importance of civic space, and how the media can play a more effective role in protecting it. It defines what civic space is, the threats and challenges it faces, and the work being done across the world to protect and promote civic space. In addition to providing story ideas and angles designed to help media and journalists cover these issues better, it provides resources and hyperlinks for further resources and reading.
  • 12. A Handbook on Reporting Terrorism [2016]
    This guidebook is a tool for Kenyan media professionals who are reporting on issues of terrorism, and who seek to counter violent extremism. It is designed to help journalists to effectively cover stories without putting innocent civilians (or security forces) in harm's way, without instilling fear in the community, or giving attention to publicity-seeking terrorists.
  • 13. Media Toolkit: Helping Journalists Get The Story - And Get It Right [2016]
    This interactive toolkit offers a detailed description of a journalism training project called Women's Edition - a global journalism project and training model designed to increase and strengthen reporting on population and reproductive health in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
  • 14. Media Law Handbook for Eastern Africa [2016]
    By Justine Limpitlaw
    The Media Law Handbook for Eastern Africa Volume 1 and 2 contains a comprehensive overview of applicable media laws governing the print, online, and broadcast media in six Eastern African countries - Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Uganda. The guide is intended to be a resource for journalists and media owners to empower them to deal with the legal aspects of their work. It can also be used by lawyers, civil society stakeholders, and anyone who is interested in the freedom and independence of the media in the region.
  • 15. Manual on Freedom of Expression Law for South Sudan [2016]
    This manual is intended as a reference resource for lawyers undertaking media defence work in South Sudan. It was produced by Albany Associates in the context of its press freedom programme in South Sudan, which, in partnership with Internews Network, supports local media and citizens to: advocate for and achieve a strengthened legal enabling environment for media, and defend journalists' rights in the country. The manual can also be used for training workshops on media and freedom of expression law in South Sudan.
  • 16. Media Guide for Responsible Reporting on Mental Health [2016]
    This guide is designed to empower the media in South Africa to help dispel the many negative beliefs that surround mental health. As stated in the guide: "Stigma and discrimination against people with mental disorders or disability is still widespread, and there are still many misconceptions and negative beliefs surrounding the topic of mental health. For this reason, it is incredibly important that when reporting on mental health, the information that is sent out is accurate, respectful and fair."
  • 17. impactAFRICA Series of Webinars for Journalists [2016]
    This series of webinars is intended for journalists who are interested in applying to the impactAFRICA storytelling contest, which seeks to support data-driven investigative reporting that sheds light on neglected or under-reported development topics in Africa. Topics include issues related to child and maternal health, water and sanitation, and education.
  • 18. Write Right, Tight - Navigating Common Mistakes in Ugandan Newsrooms [2017]
    By Richard M. Kavuma
    This handbook is designed to support Ugandan journalists to write compelling, accurate, and well written news stories. The handbook explores common reporting problems and offers insights into attributes and practices that define winning journalists, including the right attitude, passion, and the willingness to learn.
  • 19. A Manual for Investigative Journalism: How to Become a Mouthpiece for the People [Sept 2016]
    This manual, also referred to as the Investigative Journalism Manual (IJM), is designed to equip journalists with core investigative reporting skills and to support watchdog journalism in difficult environments. The Manual is a project of the Global Media Programmes of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung which includes the Media Programmes in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and South East Europe.
  • 20. The Health Finance and Governance Briefing Kit [2015]
    This Briefing Kit was produced to help journalists and their editors investigate and report on issues related to health - specifically the financing of health and the governance of health resources. It seeks to help journalists to more effectively highlight evidence-based health priorities, analyse health budgets, identify gaps between national health statistics and health spending, explain new health policies, fact-check sensational stories, and dispel rumours with facts. It was developed by the Health Finance and Governance (HFG) Project in collaboration with Internews Kenya's Health Media Project.
  • Click here for more resources on the Soul Beat Africa Media Development theme site.


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