The Project in partnership with Oxfam International’s Africa-China Dialogue Platform held a workshop on Reporting Africa-China Engagements: Agriculture, Climate Change, Industrialization, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063 for African and Chinese journalists in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 5-7 September 2017. The Workshop exposed over 20 journalists to practical skills training, informative presentations and talks from leading figures and also included tours on 5 September in and around Addis Ababa.
African, Chinese and global media are important avenues through which we peek into the exponential Africa-China engagements. It is therefore important to understand the work of journalists and how they shape and are shaped by the Africa-China story. Many perceptions about China formed by African journalists come from myths, stereotypes and prejudices that spread globally about the China and the Chinese. Among others, one such rumour – which has been found to be untrue – spread by journalistic means, is that China sends convicted prisoners to work on African infrastructure projects.
Report: African Journalism Workshop, 17-28 October 2016
In October 2016 the Africa-China Reporting Project convened the African Journalism Workshop for Chinese Journalists at Wits Journalism, a practical skills training experience for Chinese journalists on how to report in and on Africa, with one week of lectures and training at Wits Journalism as well as several excursions to selected sites in Johannesburg; followed by a week of fieldwork and reporting during which the journalists pursued their selected feature topics. Nine Chinese journalists from a range of media institutions in China participated in the Workshop.
In early July 2016 CNN published an extensive feature on the recent trend of Africans leaving Guangzhou; of hundreds or thousands of them “giving up on the Chinese dream” amid a dollar drought and slowing economy in Africa, and hostile immigration policies and racism in China – all said to be putting the city’s competitive edge at risk. But is this really what is happening? Several Chinese reporters were sent to Guangzhou to find out.
The Africa-China Reporting Project and the South Africa-China Economy and Trade Association (SACETA) held the Sino-South Africa Business & Journalism Seminar on Friday July 8 at the China Construction Bank Building in Sandton, Johannesburg. Billed as the first event of its kind in South Africa, the off the record seminar that featured four short presentations was a forum for candid discussion and engagement between local journalists and Chinese business people.
On 15 March a Nigerian journalist visiting Nairobi for a workshop went to for a meal at a Chinese restaurant in the city. He arrived sometime in the afternoon, and shortly after he was admitted the restaurant’s gate was shut, although the institution was still open. He found this slightly odd but thought it was just a security measure of some sort. The next day he invited two of his friends, both Kenyan journalists, along to the same restaurant for dinner. Yet when the party of three arrived at Chongqing Chinese Restaurant in the neighbourhood Kilimani, they were refused entry on the grounds that “the time for Africans has ended”, i.e. Africans are not allowed to patronize the restaurant after 5 pm for reasons of security.
The following is review of select commentary on the incident in three Kenyan newspapers: Daily Nation, Business Daily, and the Standard. The Daily Nation and Business Daily are published by the same company, Nation Media Group. Daily Nation is the leading national newspaper in Kenya in terms of both circulation and reputation. Business Daily is the most authoritative business daily. The Standard, on the other hand, is a leading competitor of Daily Nation.
The Africa-China Reporting Project is hosted within the Journalism Department of the University of Witwatersrand, and aims to improve the quality of reporting around China-Africa issues.
Despite the expanding links between the two regions media reporting has often been inadequate or polarised, either portraying China as an exploiting predator or a benign development partner. The Project aims to encourage balanced and considered reporting as the topic of China-Africa relations is further entrenched in the editorial narrative of both regions.
The Project offers reporting grants to African and Chinese journalists and encourages collaborations to investigate the complex dynamics and uncover untold stories and enables research for journalism students looking at media responses to China’s engagement with Africa.
The Project is funded by a grant from the Open Society Foundation.
For more information please contact the Project Coordinator:
Africa-China Reporting Project
+27 (0) 11 717 4692
Wits Journalism Department
12th Floor University Corner