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What is AfricaBrief?
AfricaBrief is a storytelling movement that uses digital tools such as newsletters, WhatsApp, portable and pocket technologies to support people in Africa to tell their own stories in their own ways. Using the Internet to share these stories with others, we are able to connect them with the people, groups and organisations who are in a position to make positive social change.
Central to AfricaBrief is the belief that people in Africa telling authentic stories about their own lived experience offers a valuable understanding of their lives. Through creating spaces in which people can describe their own realities, AfricaBrief provides opportunities in which people can use storytelling to:
1. Find their voice
2. Challenge perceptions
3. Be catalysts of change
We believe in achieving positive change for communities by bringing peoples’ portrayals of lived experiences together to influence change from the ground up via AfricaBrief methodologies. AfricaBrief has three distinct components – story gathering, story curation and story mobilisation – based around the Cynefin decision-making framework for complex environments (David Snowden, 1999), as depicted in the diagram below.
Through gathering, curating and mobilising stories from our growing network of AfricaBrief Reporters, we seek to inform policy, processes, and practice.
The AfricaBrief network consists of 4 different types of members that are:
· AfricaBrief Reporters: People who have accessed an AfricaBrief-approved reporting training programme and have been badged accordingly. They contribute to the network by sharing stories on https://africabrief.substack.com/ and engaging in the AfricaBrief’s activities.
· Trainers and Digital Curators: People who AfricaBrief has approved and contracts to deliver reporting training programmes and story curation activities. They contribute to the network by sharing their expertise with trainee AfricaBrief Reporters and developing their skills.
· Social Licensees: Individuals, groups, and organizations who have a license agreement in place for them to conduct AfricaBrief Reporting activities outside of Frontline Media’s scope of work. They contribute to the network by supporting the development of AfricaBrief Reporters, developing the usage of AfricaBrief reporters in different sectors, and providing connections to people, places, and organizations for our network.
· Partners: Individuals, groups and organisations who we work with to deliver collaborative projects, share knowledge, and develop new practices, methodologies and training materials. They contribute by writing funding applications, providing links and connections to people, places, and organisations to the network and by supporting us to develop the AfricaBrief practices in a multitude of ways.
Meet the AfricaBrief team
Winston Mwale is AfricaBrief’s founder and Editor-in-Chief. Winston is an award-winning journalist and media trainer. A veteran journalist, Mwale has years of experience across east and southern Africa-- and beyond. He has racked up cross-continental bylines and regional awards on this journey. He specializes in investigative and solutions journalism.
He’s worked with Zodiak Broadcasting Station in Malawi, Africa Check as a freelance fact-checker, Spring24 TV of Zambia as a new contributor, Capitalk 100.4FM, Harare (Zimbabwe)'s premier talk radio station as a news contributor.
To date, Winston holds over five National Media Institute for Southern Africa-Malawi Chapter media awards, including the 2015 SADC Radio Journalist of the Year Award, and the 2018 and 2021 Southern African Media Award in Social Accountability Reporting.
Liana Bravo is a freelance data and investigative journalist, and she currently works as AfricaBrief’s Data Editor.
In 2020 and 2021, she worked as a researcher and data analyst at the University of Nottingham.
She holds a Master's in Data Journalism from Birmingham City University and a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
Liana has seven years of experience as a reporter, working for several newspapers and TV outlets and publishing investigations in Spain and the UK.
She is passionate about human rights investigations and cross-border collaborative journalism.
Tiwonge Kampondeni is AfricaBrief’s Editor and is a focused communications strategist and qualified multimedia journalist with an extensive background in many facets of journalism: text, photo, audio, video with over 22 years of continuous media professional experience in different news outlets.
The professional experience and integrity as a journalist and communication expert, combined with theoretical knowledge in Mass Communication, Communication for Development, and her passion to tell stories is what has been her assert in this field of communication.
A holder of an MA in Media Practice for Development and Social Change and a BSc in Mass Communication, Tiwonge has worked in busy Malawian newsrooms at The Daily Times and Malawi News as a reporter and has won several media awards.
She has also extensively contributed to international media and non-governmental organizations, and some of her works have been featured in The Irish Times and Self-Help Africa website.
Gloria Masanza-Kanyangwa is AfricaBrief’s Engagement Editor, and has vast experience in journalism, having worked for some of Malawi's top radio stations, including Zodiak Broadcasting Station.
Gloria also worked as Press Officer for the former president Peter Mutharika.
Interested in partnering with us?
If you’d like to contribute content to AfricaBrief, publish content from AfricaBrief, or if you’d like help establishing or growing a legitimate editorial operation, email us here.
Companies that partner with AfricaBrief must adhere to our editorial standards. These include:
o Original and editorially-sound news content. Content on AfricaBrief is written and edited by real journalists, columnists or subject matter experts. Articles must be well-researched, well-sourced, well-edited and fact-checked. Content on AfricaBrief must be originally created by the author, and contain all appropriate attributions when using third-party data and quotes.
o No marketing of products. The purpose of these articles isn’t to sell a particular service or item from the brand creating the article. That said, articles may include links to books written by the writers of articles or related content on the writer’s website. We may feature product review articles and links to those products on e-commerce sites (like Amazon), but the presence of those links cannot impact the editorial content of the article. The goal is to help establish writers and sites as objective authorities on different subjects, not to sell any particular item.
o Objectivity. If AfricaBrief contributors can’t write about something objectively because it may conflict with business interests, then they won’t write about it. For example, the sales team can’t tell the editorial team what to write.
o Conflicts. AfricaBrief is a real no-spin zone and all conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived, must be declared. (The big news organizations do it, and so must all AfricaBrief contributors.)
o No pay for play. No content on AfricaBrief can favour a particular brand (even the one that produced it) in exchange for any financial benefit. That means, if you’re reading a review of a particular item, the maker of that item didn’t pay someone in exchange for being included in the article.
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