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Free Content Exploring alternative journalistic approaches to report on China and Africa relations? Comparative study of two best reporting awards projects in China and South Africa

The media in China and Africa have dedicated considerable space and time to issues on China, Africa and their relationship. While there is quantitative growth in terms of media coverage, there is lack of knowledge on the real issues that define the relationship. In response, University of Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa and Tshinghua University in China initiated reporting projects aimed at training journalists on the best approaches to report on China and Africa. This study analysed all the award-winning stories by using content analysis to inquire into the issues and narratives considered significant in defining China, Africa and their relationship. The study finds that there are differences in terms of issues and focus of the stories but this shows the diversity of the issues to be covered on China and Africa. Most significantly, the study shows that the stories from the two projects used constructive journalism narratives that cast new light on existing stereotypes and explore new controversies. Such narratives have the potential to create better understanding between the people of China and Africa but there is a need to ensure training of more media personnel to ensure sustainability of the initiatives.

Keywords: Africa; China; Tsinghua University; Wits University; constructive journalism; contra-narratives

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Communication University of China

Publication date: March 1, 2018

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