Friday, November 04, 2011

Al Jazeera English Gives Voice To African Journalists

Al Jazeera English is putting the spotlight on Africa’s journalists in “Africa Investigates.” The new series is intending on providing African journalists a megaphone from which to report their stories on corruption, abuse, and exploitation to the masses. The journalists who worked on the reports for the series worked undercover, using hidden cameras, and, of course, put themselves at risk in order to reveal the truth behind frauds, conspiracies, abuse of minorities, child trafficking, and high-level corruption. The series will consist of eight one hour episodes and began Wednesday, November 2 on Al Jazeera English.

Series producer Diarmuid Jeffreys said that investigative journalism in Africa is often stuffed down because of the political figures who can suppress reports. “All too often in the past, African reporters have not been able to pursue wrongdoing because it involves powerful figures who wield undue influence over local media – financial, corporate or political – or because it is simply too dangerous,” Jeffreys said. “Investigative journalism is a perilous profession in many African nations, where intimidation, beatings, imprisonment and death threats can be an occupational hazard. As a result they have often had to sit idly-by while Africa’s story has been told by Western correspondents, ‘parachuted in’ for the purpose, who reinforce stereotypical views about African peoples and their supposed inability to face up to and solve their own problems.”

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