Africa Talks: Africa is Not a Country
The way the media reports on a community can have a powerful impact on the way the broader society perceives them. The less that’s known about that community, the more power the media wields, as a primary source of understanding.
Media coverage can foster understanding and empathy, by highlighting achievements by community members, sharing examples of collaboration and goodwill, and telling personal stories that illuminate challenges faced and struggles left behind. But it can also stoke prejudice and cement stereotypes.
How does the Australian media report on Africa and the African community – or communities – in Australia? Is there a perception gap between reporting and reality? And how does this impact on African-Australians?
Zambian-born Santilla Chingaipe is an award winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. She spent seven years working for SBS World News, which saw her reporting from Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia and interviewing some of Africa’s most prominent leaders.
She reports extensively on Australia’s diverse African community and recently presented a one-off documentary for SBS, Date My Race, which aired in February. Santilla is currently directing and producing documentary on the complexities of Australia’s South Sudanese community.
Stani Goma is the presenter and producer of Flight 1067 to Africa on PBS FM every Sunday between 3pm–5pm. The programme features music from all over Africa, and takes the listener on a musical journey around the African continent to discover the rich and diverse sound of Africa.
Ginny Stein is a reporter/producer and camera operator. She has spent much of her career working as a foreign correspondent and filming her own stories.
Bertrand Tungandame has worked as a journalist in print media in Belgium and Rwanda covering events in the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa. He migrated to Australia in 1997 and joined SBS in 1998 initially as a contributor to the African Program. He was also a contributor to SBS's French radio program in the early 2000’s. Bertrand is currently producing content for Living Black Radio – the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s program on SBS radio.