… My heart’s in Accra Ethan Zuckerman’s online home, since 2003

June 7, 2007

Salim Amin, fulfilling his father’s dream

Filed under: Africa,TEDGlobal — Ethan @ 4:05 am

Salim Amin begins his talk with a video of refugees and starving children in Ethiopia, very much the sorts of images that have been the subject of critique this week at the conference. In the background of many of the shots is a photographer – Salim’s father, photojournalist Mohamed Amin.

Salim tells us that those images saved the lives of three million people by calling attention to the famine. Salim tells us that his father had to work tremendously hard to get American media to use these images – they were refused at first, before being adopted and amplified in the media.

Mohamed Amin died a decade ago while negotiating on a hijacked Ethiopian airlines plane. These were not images of the Africa he loved, but they were tremendously important. They became tangible proof of the trouble and suffering in Africa, helping create responsibility for African problems around the globe.

Salim Amin wants to take on a different challenge – making African voices telling African news available to the world. His new project is A24 – a 24-hour news channel about Africa, covered by Africans. This is a lesson Salim took for his father – Africa must be covered by Africans.

Salim is concerned about the damaging impact of the stereotypical portrayal of Africa – in a very real sense, his father’s twenty year old images are still many people’s images of Africa. We need a project like A24 to build contemporary images of the real Africa, “to shape our own vision of ourselves.” Why do we need another news channel? Because we have none for Africa – SABC is compromised by South African government influence, he argues, and CNBC is a business news channel.

The station will be supported by 46 “low-cost, high-tech” bureaus around the continent. They’ll cover breaking news as well as longer feature stories – including some of the ideas put on the stage at TED. It will broadcast around the world and into rural Africa, using the Internet, radio, satellite TV, “and most importantly cellphones.” It will be offered to all national networks free to air, “in part because it’s hard to get them to pay”, and will be supported by advertising, international content syndication and satellite subscriptions.

“Democracy is not possible without a strong, independent media,” Amin tells us. If A24 is a success, his work will do more than improve broadcast journalist – it will help create transparency and democracy across the continent.

9 Comments

  1. […] founder Salim Amin was a speaker at Ted Global in Arusha and it’s lovely seeing his dream come to […]

    Pingback by Kenyan Pundit » Africa 24 launches! — September 19, 2008 @ 12:02 pm

  2. […] Salim Amin has some big shoes to fill. His father, Mohamed Amin, is widely regarded as one of Africa’s finest photojournalists. He covered Ethiopian famine, the fall of Idi Amin and of Mengistu, and recorded some of the darkest – and most important – stories from the continent. He died in 1996 while trying to stop the hijacking of a plane bound from Ethiopia to Kenya. In 2006, Salim honored his father’s memory with an award-winning biographical film. His next project aims to honor his father’s work in a different way. […]

    Pingback by …My heart’s in Accra » A24 - An online marketplace for African video content — September 19, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

  3. […] fellow Salim Amin has launched A24Media, a web-based content delivery site for ‘for material from journalists, […]

    Pingback by Africa 24 Seeks to Redefine Journalism - Appfrica — September 20, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

  4. […] Salim Amin has some big shoes to fill. His father, Mohamed Amin, is widely regarded as one of Africa’s finest photojournalists. He covered Ethiopian famine, the fall of Idi Amin and of Mengistu, and recorded some of the darkest – and most important – stories from the continent. He died in 1996 while trying to stop the hijacking of a plane bound from Ethiopia to Kenya. In 2006, Salim honored his father’s memory with an award-winning biographical film. His next project aims to honor his father’s work in a different way. […]

    Pingback by A24 - An Online Marketplace for African Video Content — September 22, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  5. […] di giornalisti, produttori video e organizzazioni non governative africani. L’idea di Salim Amin, figlio di un celebre fotogiornalista keniota, Mohamed Amin, morto nel novembre 1996 a 53 anni […]

    Pingback by Xaaraan - Il blog di Antonella Beccaria » A24 Media: piattaforma per videogiornalisti indipendenti africani — September 23, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

  6. […] Salim Amin has some big shoes to fill. His father, Mohamed Amin, is widely regarded as one of Africa’s finest photojournalists. He covered Ethiopian famine, the fall of Idi Amin and of Mengistu, and recorded some of the darkest – and most important – stories from the continent. He died in 1996 while trying to stop the hijacking of a plane bound from Ethiopia to Kenya. In 2006, Salim honored his father’s memory with an award-winning biographical film. His next project aims to honor his father’s work in a different way. […]

    Pingback by 601TV » Blog Archive » An Online Marketplace for African Video Content — September 26, 2008 @ 4:58 am

  7. […] fellow Salim Amin has launched A24Media, a web-based content delivery site for ‘for material from journalists, […]

    Pingback by » Africa 24 Seeks to Redefine Journalism | Appfrica — July 29, 2009 @ 5:32 pm

  8. you are doing a great work ,by not letting the great mans dream to die, am proud of you,we Africans are very proud of you , keep it up baby , i washed Ur documentary on TV and i marveled, bravo to u and Ur wife

    Comment by edith amaka ngonadi — July 19, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  9. Hi Salim, I just watched your program on BBC world, it was very well done, great job. Towards the end of the program you mentioned that your father, and you wanted and want to change the image of Africa through your work. My wife Noella Coursaris Musunka is doing the in the DR Congo and she has recently done some work with CNN (see links below). It would be great if you could contact me to see if we can work together towards this common goal.

    Regards

    James

    Connect the world blog

    http://connecttheworld.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/19/future-connector-noella-coursaris-musunka/

    Connect the world interview

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/world/2010/12/09/ctw.cotd.coursaris.cnn.html

    African Voices

    Trailer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHmTWvV-aYU

    nice African voices article

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/12/21/noella.coursaris.congo/

    Part 1

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/?/video/international/2010/12/20/av.noella.coursaris.bk.a.cnn

    Part 2

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/?/video/international/2010/12/20/av.noella.coursaris.bk.b.cnn

    Part 3

    http://edition.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/international/2010/12/20/av.noella.coursaris.bk.c.cnn.html

    Comment by James Masters — January 1, 2011 @ 5:02 am

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