Reporting Africa-China-US in the Biden Era: Issues, Skills, and Strategies.
This virtual forum aims to impart knowledge concept note lays out a plan for the hosting of a webinar and a series of instructional write ups on how African journalists can cover the trilateral relations between Africa, China, and the United States. The motivation arises out of the inevitability of African media coverage of China drawing in implications for the United States (US) across multiple areas of engagement. This imperative has become pronounced since the change of leadership in the US with the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration working towards resetting policies and strategies towards both Africa and China. To appreciate the complex web relations implicated in these relations, consider the overarching thematic formations that African journalists must grapple with:
- Africa-China relations and their implications of the US.
- Africa-US relations and their implications for China.
- China-US relations and their implications for Africa.
- Africa-US-China relations and their implications for the rest of the world.
The overriding objective is to provide practical journalistic knowledge and pathways to African journalists for efficiency and effectiveness in coverage of the intricate geopolitical relations. The specific objectives are:
- Provide a summarized toolkit of Africa-US-China relations that impact the relations today.
- Sensitize African journalists on the key topics, policies, and strategies.
- Provide information on the state and non-state actors.
- Impart key skills and strategies to be deployed and used by journalists.
This being a practical initiative, the following are the main elements:
- A 90-minute webinar proposed for Wednesday March 31, 2021 via Zoom, at 3.00 pm South African Time (8.00 am Washington DC, 9.00 pm Beijing).
- 4 presentations by journalism scholar-practitioners cutting across the following themes:
- Brief context.
- Diplomacy and soft power.
- Trade and economics.
- Politics and international relations.
- Peace and security.
- Publication of at least 4 practical journalistic guidelines (about 1200 words each) in April and May 2021.
The key questions that the presenters will seek to answer are:
- What will change and what will stay the same in the relations under the Biden administration?
- What will be the new opportunities and challenges for African countries?
- What will journalists need to be aware of to cover this developing story?
- How should the story be covered? What will be newsworthy?
- What and when are the key events in the trilateral relations
This note serves as a discussion document and both partners and presenters are welcome to make improvements or seek clarification. The key point is to make the initiative simple and straightforward.