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African media charged to adopt technology

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The African media should leverage the power of digital technology to tell the African story, reshaping the narratives and perceptions about the continent globally, an African Union (AU) official has said.

Leslie Richer, the AU director of information and communication, made this call in her opening remarks on Wednesday at the 3rd African Media Convention (AMC), which commenced in the Ghanaian capital of Accra.

She said that with the use of data analysis tools, African media can verify the source and authenticity of the data used to describe and assess the continent and its people around the world, correcting the wrong narratives. “With the evolving technology and digital media landscape, narratives about Africa and Africans are even more important. We must interrogate the source of data that is used to define and describe us in the world,” Richer said.

She underscored the need to use media literacy methods to empower individuals to navigate the complex landscape of information with confidence and clarity, helping build well-informed citizens and reshape their perceptions of Africa.

Rita Bissoonauth, head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Liaison Office to the AU Commission and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, underscored the need to explore how the African media can continue to evolve while upholding the principles of independence, diversity and integrity.

“The media’s role extends far beyond reporting news. It is about nurturing informed and engaged societies, holding power to account, and most importantly, shaping the future through responsible and innovative storytelling,” Bissoonauth said.

The AMC is an annual gathering of media experts, scholars, students, journalists, journalist unions and associations, editors and the public and private sectors to reflect on the fundamental role of journalism on the continent, celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, and deliberate on measures to safeguard media freedom.

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