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Survey unveils 10 foreign news publishers with best coverage of Africa

These media organisations best covered the continent, covering a wide range of topics from different countries in the continent

Banner for Global Media Index report
  • Africa No Filter and The Africa Center surveyed to evaluate foreign news coverage of Africa
  • The Guardian scored the highest in the Global Media Index for Africa, excelling in diversity of topics and a balanced approach
  • The top performers also included Al Jazeera, BBC, Le Monde, Deutsche Welle, CNN, Financial Times, and The Economist

Narratives of poverty, conflict, and political instability have long dominated the landscape of global media coverage of Africa.

However, a recent survey by Africa No Filter and The Africa Center aims to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of how foreign news publishers cover the continent.

The impact of these persistent stories about conflict, corruption, poverty, poor leadership, bad politics, and disease continues to have an outsized influence on investment, tourism, global policy on Africa and the cost of money for the continent.

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The Global Media Index for Africa assessed 20 prominent global media outlets. Over 1,000 news articles were collected over a six- month period, and evaluated across four key indicators.

  1. The diversity of topics covered in the stories against a curated list of 28 possible topics that included issues such as corruption, poverty, disease, and politics as well as innovation, culture and business.
  2. The range of sources interviewed and quoted in direct citations in each story.
  3. The number of African countries covered over the period of analysis, calculating the percentage against the total number of 55 countries that make up the African continent.
  4. The depth of coverage measured by the context and balance provided as well as the framing and stereotypes used.
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Here are the top ten foreign news publishers that excelled in their coverage of Africa. The study was based on the outlets' digital platforms.

Leading the index, The Guardian scored an impressive 63% overall. It was particularly noted for the diversity of topics it covered, scoring 57% in this category.

The Guardian's balanced approach and inclusion of a variety of voices set it apart from its peers.

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AFP secured second place with a score of 61%. It was the top performer in terms of covering the most African countries, achieving a score of 56%.

The diversity of topics covered by AFP also saw it perform very well overall.

The Doha-based news outlet took third position in the survey, ranking highly in terms of topics covered and the diversity of sources.

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Its ability to highlight diverse voices and provide balanced reporting helped it secure a place among the top performers.

Reuters followed closely in fourth place with a 60% score. Reuters scored well in terms of the number of countries it covered in Africa as well as the the diversity of sources it relied on for its stories.

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VOA came fifth, performing largely well in the number of countries it covered and the topics it covered as well.

American-owened Cable News Network (CNN) ranked highly in depth of coverage as well of the diversity of topics covered.

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Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster, ranked seventh. Its exceptional balance in coverage and contextual reporting were highlighted as key strengths.

Chinese-owned CGTN ranked eight with its key strengths being the diversity of countries it covered and the sources it had for its stories.

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Associated Press AP took the ninth position due to its wide coverage of the continent and the array of topics.

Rounding out the top ten, BBC was recognised for its analytical approach and in-depth reports.

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However, it was noted that there is still room for improvement in avoiding stereotypes.

While these ten news publishers lead in their coverage, the Global Media Index for Africa also highlighted areas needing improvement across the board.

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