New report examines how global media covers Africa

A new report by Africa No Filter, in partnership with the Africa Center New York and the University of Cape Town, sheds light on how the world’s leading news outlets portray Africa. The report, titled “Global Media Index for Africa,” analyses online news coverage from 20 influential news providers, including CNN, The Guardian, BBC, and Al Jazeera.

The study looked at more than 1,000 articles across six months, evaluating them based on four key areas: topic diversity, source range, geographic coverage, and depth of reporting. This extensive analysis revealed a need for improvement in how global media covers Africa.

While the report doesn’t reveal individual outlet rankings, the overall findings suggest that coverage tends to be “medium” in terms of progressiveness and exploring new narratives about the continent. This indicates room for growth in presenting a more nuanced and comprehensive picture of Africa.

Report highlights

The report identifies a concerning trend: the voices of ordinary Africans are often missing from the stories. Global reporting privileges the voices of powerful elites, both local and international, such as experts, politicians, national leaders, and international organizations. Little attention is given to ordinary citizens and traditionally marginalized voices like young people, women, and traditional leaders.

Most of the global media outlets in the index only covered a handful of African countries in depth in their reports. This highlights a persistent issue that the global media still largely treats Africa as a monolithic entity, failing to capture the continent’s rich diversity.

Additionally, the study found that news outlets heavily favored powerful men, like politicians and business leaders, as their go-to sources for stories about Africa, reinforcing the idea that men control the narrative in African news. The report also found a lack of variety in the topics covered. Africa’s stories were most often dominated by negative themes like poverty, corruption, and political issues. Positive developments in areas like culture, arts, innovation, and technology were rarely mentioned in the online articles analyzed.

For a deeper dive into the report’s findings, please visit

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