West Africa Com 2018: The end of the beginning for operator digital transformation and so much more

13 July 2018

This year’s West Africa Com was better attended and the low hum of networking hung over the event. In his report below Russell Southwood picks out some of the highlights from the event below. Overall I had a sense that operators have now got on board for what is now described as digital transformation. There was less complaining about OTTs and more practical discussions about how to make things happen. Several sessions identified pain points in doing business with operators and getting things done but interestingly, there was very little pushback from operators on these points. In the welcoming address,…


Nigeria’s news satire show The Other News hits audiences of 2 million and brings in new types of viewers for Channels TV

13 July 2018

Many countries in Africa love news satire programmes because they allow difficult issues to be talked about with a smile and puncture the pomposity of the political elites. Kenya had the XYZ Show and South Africa its Puppet Nation and news satire attracts good audiences. At the Global Media Forum Russell Southwood spoke to Neil McCafferty, Pilot Media Initiatives about Channels TV’s The Other News. The idea for The Other News format goes back to a group of people who were working on media development initiatives in Kyrgyzstan:”My colleague Dillon Case (Co-founder and CEO, Pilot Media Initiatives) was working on…


Africa's Media Deficit and Access to Knowledge

Access to information is a fundamental human right. Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights1 (ICCPR) links the right to information to freedom of expression includes the right to information: When citizens have no access to media or only limited access to media their “freedom to seek, receive and impart information of all kinds” is restricted. Where this position exists, citizens are experiencing a media deficit that affects their access to knowledge. Therefore, this briefing paper sets out to do two things: To outline the scale and extent of the media deficit and the general factors…