Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Blogging for Dollars $$$: African journalists win top blog awards

It has been awhile since I have written anything about news stories coming out of Africa. Fortunately, Africa’s growing communities of blog authors, citizen and professional journalists and writers who publish their work online have begun to garner the world’s attention over the past few years. This makes my small contribution to blogging about Africa and global issues no less important but it does help to give me and others who write about Africa inspiration.

Just today I made two important discoveries about the success of Africa’s bloggers. Global Voices Online has an update on the first African Blog Awards for Journalists which led me to dig deeper and review the work of a wonderful young investigative reporter in Uganda, Rosebell Kagumire.

Rosebell, who just last year started her personal blog, is one of the winners of the first Waxal Blogging Africa Awards for Journalists. Like Andrew M. Mwenda* and other top African journalists and news professionals who have come to our attention via the CNN African Journalists Awards and the Panos Institute in London, Rosebell Kagumire and the winners of the 2009 Waxal Blog Awards are important new voices in Africa that we should closely follow.

Here is a link to a recent interview with Rosebell conducted by the Financial Times correspondent Christopher Mason:

Radio Slience – a look at efforts to increase access to media in the developing world
The View From Uganda: Multi-platform journalism and more 02/23/09

Be sure to visit the blogs of the winners of the Waxal African Blogging Awards, particularly the work of the award-winning DR Congo radio journalist Cedric Kalonji (Radio Okapi) and the news team at the Lusaka Times. Independent press and news media is under threat in many African countries but thanks to the hard work and diligence of these brave people Africans have a stronger voice on the world stage.

Note*: Some of my readers may remember the Ugandan journalist and newspaper editor, Andrew M. Mwenda, from his excellent presentation on foreign aid to Africa made at the 2007 TED Africa: The Next Chapter conference. Following his talk in Arusha (Tanzania) Mwenda’s popularity soared in the blogosphere and in the international press. Andrew had to fight against arrest on trumped-up charges by the Ugandan government in 2007 and interference by the government with the launch of his new newspaper in Kampala, The Independent. Here is an example of the type of reporting that keeps Andrew in hot water with Uganda’s longtime ruler (23 years and counting), President Yoweri Museveni:

Museveni walking same path of African dictators by Andrew Mwenda, 02/18/09

Kevin Sites, independent war correspondent and the first video correspondent for Yahoo! News (see Kevin Sites In the Hot Zone) wrote an article for Parade Magazine about Andrew Mwenda and the difficulties and dangers faced by independent investigative reporters in Uganda.

Parade.com (Parade magazine online)
'They Can Kill Me, But They Can't Kill My Ideas' by Kevin Sites, 02/01/09

Related articles and resources

PANOS London – promoting dialogue, debate, and change
Global Voices Online – Berkman Center @ Harvard University Law School
Highway Africa – Citizen Journalism, Journalism for Citizens
TED Conferences – where the world’s leading thinkers and doers gather
TED Africa Director Emeka Okafor announces new TED Fellows Program
An Introduction to Africa 2.0 and the TED Africa Conference (Ethan Zuckerman)
Deutsche Welle Best of the Blogs Awards (the BoB’s)
Reporters Without Borders – English site
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

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Dian Maya Kirana said...

Mmm,, i think blogging for dollar is an interesting subject. Not the blogging part that makes it interesting. but the $$$ one. hehe,,,

TheMalau said...

Hey, I was really proud of Cedric for his awards. He has succeded where I have failed: constance. He is simply relentless! And I admire that. I wish I had more time to do blogging as I used to. Oh well...

Anyway, please check my latest posts at The Salon.