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Story agency Bird aims to shift media narratives about Africa

nairobi kenya
Nairobi, Kenya.

Non-profit organisation Africa No Filter (ANF) has launched Bird, a mobile-focused agency aimed at shifting media narratives around Africa.

Designed for mobile audiences, Bird produces multimedia stories about Africa. The site distributes content for free and features work by contributing journalists.

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“We identified a clear need for more human interest and feature style stories to counter the barrage of hard news – often negative – stories that are shaping how the world sees Africa and how Africa sees itself,” ANF Executive Director, Moky Makura, said in a statement.

“Bird’s mission is to create a home for these stories and make them accessible to media outlets.”

The launch of Bird comes after Africa No Filter published a report titled ‘How African Media Covers Africa’ in March.

Monitoring 60 African news outlets between September and October 2020, the report found the outlets sourced a third of all their stories on the continent from foreign news services.

During that period, The BBC and AFP accounted for a quarter of all stories about African countries.

According to the report, 81% of the stories analysed were hard news stories involving event crises and conflicts.

Meanwhile, 13% of the stories were about political violence and civil unrest.

How Bird aims to shift African media narrative with positive stories

As part of the launch, Bird has put out a call for African content creators and journalists to join the service.

It prioritises stories that shift the narrative about Africa away from issues such as poverty, disease, and corruption, as well as stereotypes about the continent.

Categories included on the site include Sports, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Women’s Issues, and more.

While stories are distributed for free, content creators are paid for submissions.

The editorial team at the agency edits and fact-checks content submissions and then distributes them to clients.

You can check out the stories and find out how to submit ones on the Bird website.

Featured image: Amani Nation/Unsplash

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