With the recent birth of Society of African Journalists, SAJ, journalism and other forms of media practices is wearing a new face in the Africa continent.
SAJ, a continental association with the aim to bring journalists, bloggers and all forms of media practitioners of Africa origin under an umbrella for common goals has set a new pace and agenda in the journalism profession in Africa.
SAJ, which started as African Journalist’s Platform now has Amodu Lamrana Bah, President, Sierra Leone Reporters Union, journalist with Star FM 1O3.5, Hassan Dahir, Somalia, comm. Officer, Somali Congress of Trade Union, freelance Journalist, Mike Odeh James , a popular online Journalist with the Oasis Reporters in Nigeria, Mohammed Moalimuu, former BBC correspondent in Somalia, Greg Abolo, Publisher and Managing Editor of The Oasis Reporter, one the popular online paper in Nigeria, Emmanuel Evortefe, CEO Crystal Lens Radio, Ghana, Manuel Camalata, Freelance Angola, Stephen Dakalira, Times Group, Malawi, Evidence Chenjerai, Reporter, Global Press Journal, Zimbabwe, Anastacio Chirrute, Freelance journalist, Mozambique, Jemima Braimah: Head of News, Cool FM, Volta Region, Ghana, Onjewu Dickson Jacob, the Online Editor of New Nigerian Newspaper in Nigeria
Others are: Abdiaziz Hassan, Somalitopnews.com, Ernest Gakpey, GBC Volta Radio, Ghana, Lyonike Mughogho, Malawi24 online, Pat Larry King, News Producer, soft point news and CEO Patjournal, Ngoni Dapira :easterntimeszim online, Zimbabwe, Birhanu F. Yebelay: Senior Editor, Ethiopian Reporters Newspaper, Ethiopia, Yegon Emmanuel: Comm. Director, Mobile Journalism Africa, Kenya, Amina Mussa Weille: Chief Executive Officer of Amina Media Productions Limited based in the United Kingdom, Habibah Salami Basanya: former journalist with MITV, DBN, TVC and now contents provider for many international news stations, Sola Salami Omotosho: former journalist with Adaba FM, Akure, ONDO State and Publisher, Editor in Chief, Style Network magazine, Doris Orauno: journalist with Nigeria Television Authority( NTA), Sabir Musa: Radio Pacis, Uganda, Joaquim Paolo, a freelance Journalist from Angola, Arrey Bate: popular Cameroonian blogger and freelance journalist with Herald Newspaper among others as members.
Michael Adeboboye, a veteran journalist and the convener of the SAJ, gives an insight as to how and why SAJ was set up:
“Society of African Journalists is actually an umbrella where we hope to fine tune journalism and journalists in terms of practices, welfare, rights of practitioners in Africa and for Africans, also in terms of delivery on ethics to further reinstall public trust.
We have so many objectives and all is about promoting and encouraging journalists of Africa origins.
We started with network of friends on a platform : African Journalists’ Platform where we relate, share ideas, mingle as brothers/sisters and colleagues. That was how we started to get where we are SAJ.
Presently we are having great journalists of Africa origins as members. We have our membership in Gambia, Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and more are still coming to join. We also have our Diaspora Chapter with membership in UK, US and Germany”.
From all indication , the formation of SAJ has heralded a new era in journalism for Africa and the rest of the world as it is the first Pan African media body that has fully accepted and integrated online media, blogging and other forms of nonconventional medial into its fold while working with conventional media practitioners.
SAJ as conceptualized by Michael Adeboboye also seeks to eliminate fake news, hate speech while promoting the rights of journalists to conduct in depth investigative works without inhibition.
Mike Odeh James is a political activist and advocate for justice and peace in the Middle Belt of Nigeria. He can be reached by email HERE.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.