Via the DigAfrica Yahoogroup I came across Reporting Africa, blog by blog on openDemocracy. This article by Becky Hogge should be required reading by anyone with an interest in Africa, media and blogging. It covers a new partnership between Reuters and the powerful Global Voices “bridge blogging” service, and explains the history and nature of the Global Voices project very nicely. According to Becky, Reuters launched a new news portal which includes direct feeds to Global Voices blogs on the “News by country” pages.
I found it interesting that there was no mention of allafrica.com, which also provides a news portal used by many to follow events throughout Africa and hosts the BlogAfrica blog aggregator site which appears to have been the precursor to Global Voices. I’d be interested in hearing more about that history and how allafrica.com, which I have always found to be a most useful and valiantly offered service, fits into all of this.
Becky also gets into the discussion of how difficult it is to report out of Africa, and fears that reporters might have of media outlets seeking to have blogs replace journalism. Time will tell – but in the meantime I’m very pleased to see the contribution Global Voices is making to encouraging Africans to speak out to the world and make their presence known.
Rachel Rawlins, managing editor of the Global Voices project, believes the Reuters move “demonstrates the increasing value placed by news organisations on the ability of authentic voices to provide perspective, background and context to the events they cover.” But she recognises that the value this provides is only nascent. Announcing the Reuters project to her community, Rawlins ended with a hope that “the involvement of bloggers in projects such as this not only gives a platform to those whose voices have long been left unheard, but also encourages others to join the conversation and brings pressure to bear on behalf of those who want to speak but cannot.”
Good stuff. Yes, I’ve now added the Global Voices badge on my fledgling blog. I encourage you to do the same!