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Radio for Peacebuilding Africa

A project of
Search for Common Ground

November 19, 2014

In this update: 19 November 2014

RFPA feature

Leveraging the power of media to tackle Ebola

Award opportunities

UNAIDS competition for best human rights article in Congo-Brazzaville. Deadline: November 25, 2014

2015 Uganda National Journalism Awards. Deadline: December 31, 2014

Professional opportunities

Fellowship at Stanford University. Deadline: December 1, 2014

MasterCard Foundation Scholarship. Deadline: January-July 2015


UNESCO publishes World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development

Joint publication by UNESCO and IAMCR on media and gender

Leveraging the power of media to tackle Ebola: Insights from Search for Common Ground’s work in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia

Last September, a journalist named Facely Camara – along with many others – was killed while covering an Ebola education and disinfection campaign by health and government workers in Womé, Guinea. They were not killed by Ebola but by an angry mob apparently distrustful of the government’s public-health interventions, due to years of conflict and exclusion.

As a response to this fast-spreading public-health crisis turning into a peace and security issue, Search for Common Ground (SFCG) – a conflict transformation NGO – launched its own community-to-community approach, mainly consisting in the recruitment of not only public-health actors but soap-opera stars, town preachers, taxi-drivers, town criers and local reporters to fight Ebola with “culture makers” and better adapt communications to local fears and settings. 

SFCG’s vehicle of choice has been radio soap opera. The issue of Ebola was included into existing soaps which usually treat subjects like natural-resources exploitation or governments’ corruption. As many people do not have a TV or electricity, radio is considered as the most appropriate tool to reach affected communities without the intrusion or risks that visits from health workers represent. In addition, SFCG also recruits motorcycle-taxi-drivers to spread crucial health information in hard-to-reach towns and villages in which government workers are too distrusted to be safe and heard.

“Rather than sending out teams to go from one village to another to another, we want to work within the villages to support the guy who’s always coming around, door to door, to talk about key issues” (Mike Jobbins, SFCG’s Africa Program Manager). 

The challenge that Ebola represents is not only medical but also deeply social. Not only do we need better-equipped hospitals, more medical staff and sustainable health systems, but media professionals also have a valuable role to play in building trust and increasing awareness and understanding of this crisis so that efforts to prevent it are not turned into dust. For more information about SFCG’s media strategy to tackle the Ebola crisis, please get in touch with SFCG’s offices in Freetown, Conakry, or Monrovia.   

UNAIDS launches a competition for the best human rights and HIV/AIDS’ article in Congo-Brazzaville!

Congolese journalists, read this carefully!     

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) just launched a competition for the best journalistic report on Human Rights and HIV/AIDS to stimulate interest and debate on those important issues, and more particularly on the stigmatisation of individuals living with HIV. 

The competition is open to all print and online journalists working in the Republic of Congo. Applications consist in publishing a signed article of no more than 450 words on this thematic.For more information about the application process, click here (Guidelines in French).

Authors of the three best articles will win travels to Switzerland, Senegal and South Africa to visit UNAIDS offices and exchange insightful ideas on how to tackle HIV/AIDS. 

If you have questions on how to proceed, please send an email to distribution@unaids.org or call +41 22 791 36 66.

Deadline: Articles must be published before November 25, 2014.

Ugandan journalists are invited to participate in the 2015 Uganda National Journalism Awards!

This award is organised by the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) and is intended to recognise and promote excellent reporting across Africa. The competition is free and is open to all journalists, freelance or full-time, working in Uganda.

The competition features 20 categories, including agriculture reporting, arts and Culture reporting, political reporting or photojournalism. Journalists can only submit one article, broadcast or series per category with a maximum of three categories in total. To be eligible, the work – news article, broadcast programme or series – must be published or broadcast in a Ugandan media outlet or a regional news outlet with wide distribution in Uganda between January 1 and December 31, 2014.

A panel of 14 judges will evaluate the work based on criteria such as reporting accuracy, writing style, originality, depth of analysis and engagement or public impact. 

For more information about the award, click here. If you have any additional questions regarding this competition, please send an email to awards@acme-ug.org.

Deadline: 31 December 2014.

Apply for the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University in California!

Each year, the John S. Knight Journalism Programme (JSK) selects 20 journalism fellows from around the world and brings them together for ten months at Stanford University in the United States. This opportunity is open to:

Journalists employed by a news organisation or freelancers.

Journalism entrepreneurs or innovators, whose ideas can increase journalism’s impact.

Journalism business and management executives, such as publishers, general managers and station managers, who can influence editorial quality.

While no college degree is required, applicants should have at least five years of experience (JSK will also consider less experienced candidates with outstanding achievements). JSK offers a 65,000$ stipend paid in ten monthly instalments.

Click here to apply, and here to download the application guidelines. If you have any questions, please send an email to info@kf.stanford.edu.

Deadline: December 1, 2014.

The MasterCard Foundation opens a scholarship programme for African students

The aim of this programme is to support the education and academic development of qualified young people in Africa who will contribute to the transformation of the continent. 

As part of this scheme, the MasterCard Foundation partners with 20 host universities across the United States, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. These institutions were selected for their programmes relevant to growth sectors in Africa. 

Selected students will receive a financial support from the MasterCard Foundation to cover the programme fees, uniforms, books, transportation, accommodation and stipends. This programme aims to award $500 million worth of scholarships to 15,000 Sub-Saharan African students.

Applications must be made directly to the participating institution of your choice, all of which have links for this scholarship on their website. Click here for more information.

Deadline: Varying from January to July 2015, depending on the institutions.

UNESCO publishes World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development

Published in 2014, this report prepared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) offers new insights on recent evolutions of press freedom across the world, including the conditions of media freedom, independence, pluralism and the safety of journalists in different countries.

The observed trend is one of disruption, brought on by digital and information technologies and – to a lesser extent – the global economic crisis, generating mixed results for freedom of expression and media development. 

Improvements in digital and information technologies have generated an expanding number of media platforms and therefore an increased potential for individuals to express themselves. The report, however, notes that this evolution is characterised by a high degree of unevenness across the globe. It provides a comparative analysis between different countries and continents, noting a slowdown in the promotion of freedom of expression in sub-Saharan Africa.

Click here to download the African chapter of the publication or here to download the full text, free of charge.

A joint publication by UNESCO and IAMCR on Media and Gender

In 2014, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Association for Media and Communication Researchers (IAMCR) jointly released a publication titled “Media and Gender: a Scholarly Agenda for the Global Alliance on Media and Gender”.

This report provides a context analysis as well as a set of guidelines on how to take actions for a more active participation of women on all communication platforms. The publication is divided into four main sections:

1) Gender-based violence, media and information 

2) Women’s access to media

3) Gender and media policy and strategies

4) Gender, education and media and information literacy

“The potential exists for the media to make a far greater contribution to the advancement of women. [...] All obstacles to women’s equal opportunity to exercise leadership in the media should be unearthed and removed”. 

Click here to download the full text, free of charge.

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