The future of journalism is in Africa

Liberian journalist Rodney Sieh founded FrontPage Africa and has partnered with Journalists for Human Rights.
Liberian journalist Rodney Sieh founded FrontPage Africa and has partnered with Journalists for Human Rights.

In early 2016, ninety journalists at daily newspapers across Canada lost their jobs. At broadcasters, the story was no different: at least 600 jobs lost across the sector in the first quarter alone.

The Canadian Media Guild reported 10,000 jobs cut from the print and broadcast industries between 2008 and 2013, including 910 jobs lost following closure of papers by Canada’s largest newspaper chain, Sun Media.

The story is similar across legacy media worldwide.

How has this happened? With the arrival of Craigslist, Google, Facebook and Twitter, the traditional revenue streams for legacy media from classifieds to ad sales effectively disappeared.

Meanwhile online advertising and paywalls generate a tenth of the revenue of the previous model. Rapidly changing technology is fundamentally changing the way in which media is consumed.

This problem is particularly salient in Africa, where journalists are often one of the few checks or balances on government.

Yet funding for quality media can be scarce, forcing journalists to often seek out employment at politically hyper partisan or compromised media organizations.

The implications of compromised financing on journalists’ ability to report human rights and governance issues in countries on the continent are significant for the continent’s democratic future. READ MORE THIS REPORT

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About Cholo Brooks 14321 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.