A24 Launch Revolutionises African Media Environment
NAIROBI - A24 Media today delivered a sorely needed shot in the arm to the African media environment with the launch of its groundbreaking online content delivery site, designed to bring the African voice to a global audience hungry for an authentic perspective on African issues.
"A vision that started three long years ago is finally coming to reality. A24 Media will change the face of journalism in Africa and will truly give us Africans control over our stories" remarked Salim Amin, Chairman of A24 Media at a glittering launch event in Nairobi attended by over 100 top media executives and journalists.
A24 Media is Africa's first online delivery site for material from journalists, African broadcasters and NGO's from around the Continent. The organisation is committed to building the capacity of reporters and photographers to compete globally for share of voice for African issues and is thus solely structured with the journalist's needs in mind.
Content generators will send their material to the main office in Nairobi where it will be verified and re-edited as necessary to create a slick, marketable and branded story. The stories will be checked and verified for balanced, accurate and independent content, and will be of the very highest technical and journalistic quality. Feedback will also be provided to the contributor in order to promote a culture of journalistic excellence.
The content will then be marketed to broadcasters around the globe through a compelling and easily navigable website developed to enable broadcasters to view and purchase high-quality video for broadcast on their TV channels. Access to local content has traditionally been a barrier for broadcasters seeking to provide an authentic African perspective on issues affecting the continent. Journalists often have no means to distribute their content to broadcasters so broadcasters then have to pay through the nose for international crews to cover local stories. A24 Media provides a smart solution to these challenges, placing high quality local content at the click of a button for broadcasters eager for a new way to communicate about Africa.
A24 Media is redefining the media landscape in Africa – for the first time putting the contributor in control. The revenue will be split on a 60:40 basis in favour of the contributor and most importantly the contributor will continue to own the copyright of the original footage. This focus on safeguarding the intellectual property of the contributor and compensating journalists fairly for their work marks a welcome break with past practices which often exploited local journalists.
Journalist Wilberforce Okwiri commented: "For too long I've been paid a pittance for my work, which is often researched and filmed in hostile environments where I run great risks to bring the story to the audience. I also give up the right to my work when I sell it so I'm limited in how I can earn a living. A24 Media completely changes things for me and opens up opportunities that I never dreamed were possible."
Journalistic integrity and best practice are the overarching principles which guide the editing process and A24 Media has recruited a heavyweight editorial Advisory Board comprised of leading journalists and broadcasters who have set the news agenda around the world. Chris Cramer, Chairman of the A24 Media Editorial Advisory Board, lauded the initiative for providing a long awaited platform for the African media, noting "A24 will give Africa its own voice for the first time and will empower the continent's journalists to tell their stories to the world."
John Owen, a fellow member of the Advisory Board, highlighted the vision of A24 Media to inspire audiences about African stories: "At long last a truly pan–African news agency that exists to commission the stories about Africa that inspire rather than horrify and most importantly to pay African journalists fairly for their work. It's a tribute to Salim, Asif and others at A24 Media who have made the dream a reality. I am proud to be associated with this history-making project".
Transparency guides all of the interactions on the site and journalists and advertisers are able to download and review the contracts directly from the website, making the system user friendly and clear. Corporates can take up sponsorship of particular categories in line with their brand positioning, providing them with access to specific audiences and demonstrating their proactive support for building media capacity in Africa.
Operating as a commercial entity underscores A24 Media's commitment to sustainability. The business model ensures that journalists, African broadcasters and NGOs that contribute material will receive unprecedented exposure for their content, thereby generating sustainable and generous revenues from the sale of their stories. This will enhance their ability to continue sending high-quality content to A24 Media and to reach a global audience with their stories. The African voice has finally found its home.