Thursday, August 24, 2006

The number-one mission and ultimate goal for African journalists should be working towards the creation of the United States of Africa

African radio journalists connect with MN Black pressBy: Swallehe MsuyaMinnesota Spokesman-RecorderOriginally posted 8/23/2006 Unity, autonomy needed for international Black free pressAbout a dozen African radio broadcasters visited Minnesota in July to compare notes with other media practitioners in the United States and found a lot of common ground with their local counterparts. Local radio broadcasters from KMOJ-FM and KFAI-FM as well as editors and publishers of two local African community newspapers, MSHALE and The African News Journal, were involved in the exchange of ideas on their profession.The journalists came under the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVPL) funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The IVPL program in Minnesota is boosted by the Minnesota International Center (MIC), which has been able to bring to Minnesota on average some 300 emerging leaders annually from around the world.Local African journalists based in Minnesota spoke about the need to turn around the negative publicity being drummed by the major global media institutions. They also spoke about the need to help bring better unity among Black people all over the world in the spirit of pan-Africanism.The number-one mission and ultimate goal for African journalists should be working towards the creation of the United States of Africa, many participants agreed. Some affirmed that it was time for Africa to break ties with the product of the 1884 Berlin Conference that partitioned the continent into non-viable states, and that Africans should be able to move freely from Cape Town to Cairo and from Mogadishu to Dakar without visa restrictions.The visiting African journalists were urged by their local media counterparts to sharpen their pens, a tool that is said to be mightier than the sword, and use their profession to help determine a progressive political and economic agenda leading to African unity.Relevant literature was recommended to the journalists that would help them understand their rich heritage and help lay the foundation for rewriting African history from the African viewpoint. These included such titles as How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Dr. Walter Rodney (Howard University Press, 1974), Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World by David Brion Davis (Oxford University Press, 2006), and Capitalist N***er: The Road to Success: A Spider Web Doctrine by Chika Onyeni (Timbuktu Publishers, 2000).At the end of the day, it was generally agreed by the panel that journalists from Africa and in Africa should be bold recorders of the balanced truth — to provide checks and balances — instead of writing on only those subjects that pleased their respective governments.Swallehe Msuya welcomes reader responses to


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