Friday, October 17, 2014

DATELINE DAR ES SALAAM: Journalists need to keep reporting: 'The moment we don't report, we become irrelevant.' - CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014

Editors and experts from across Africa implored the continent's journalist on Friday to not shy away from difficult topics and hard stories and to guard against self-censorship when faced with threatening governments, terrorism, difficult news topics and problematic new media forms like social media where rules, ethics and media dynamics are often still unclear.

"Keep telling the story. The moment we don't report,we become irrelevant. I warn you: Let us be careful.Don't kill stories in the name of patriotism. Report, and report accurately and responsibly," Martins Oloja, the editor of The Guardian newspaper in Nigeria implored journalists.

On Friday morning Martins Oloja was one of the speakers taking part in a panel discussion at the media forum of this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2014, held at the conference centre of the Kunduchi Beach Hotel.

Martins Oloja said that whether its Ebola or terror group Boko Haram, "it's a story that has to be reported".

"You have to be responsible with what you put on social media.Whatever you're broadcasting or writing and publishing needs to be responsible," Martins Oloja told journalists from across the country attending the event.

MultiChoice and CNN International are the co-sponsors of the annual journalism event celebrating excellence in journalism across the African continent.

The event will culminate in a gala awards ceremony which will be taking place on Saturday evening in the Mlimani conference centre in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.

"As journalists and editors we need to create awareness of issues affecting people's lives," said panelist Suama Negumbo, a news editor at Namibia's Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

"We should not create fear. We should create awareness," she said.

Peter Fauel, MultiChoice the general manager of MultiChoice Tanzania said he's very glad that the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards is finally being held in Tanzania - an awards ceremony which alternates between South African and a different country in Africa every year.

"We waited a long time for this and we're really delighted that the awards is finally being held in Tanzania," said Peter Fauel.