Senegalese flag. Photo: Papa Birame Faye

By Kemiso Wessie: 
Senegal is to get its own State of the Newsroom report, thanks to a new collaboration between the Wits Centre for Journalism and Dakar’s E-jicom.  

State of the Newsroom is an annual report analyzing trends in the journalistic media, and has been produced in South Africa for several years.  Journalism scholars, researchers and practitioners unpack important trends and themes.  Regular features include an overview of key developments, indicators on audience trends, media freedom and other issues, research on specific topics of importance and commentaries.

Earlier this year, an edition was produced in Malawi, in a collaboration between Wits Journalism and Malawi’s Continuing Journalism Education.  The well-received report covered 2021 and focused on the theme of corruption, and reported findings on the position of journalists and a discussion of sustainability challenges.

The Centre was able to secure funding to extend the publication, and invited researchers from other countries to apply to co-produce an edition of the report.  A large number of applications were received, and  the partner chosen was Dakar-based journalism, communication and digital media school, E-jicom. 

Senegal will become the third country with a  State of the Newsroom. The project will be led by the director of E-jicom and longstanding West African journalist Tidiane Sy, and the report should be published in early 2023 The main themes and associated contributors for the Senegalese report are yet to be defined.  Senegal’s inaugural report will be published in the French, but it is hoped that the report will also be translated into English. 

Editor Alan Finlay said State of the Newsroom is unique in the way it reports and ensures all industries of journalism are covered from researchers to practicing journalists and educators. . 

The introduction to the Malawi report said, “Being the first of its kind in Malawi, we are convinced that this publication will become part of our discourse on media and media-related issues in the country.” It is hoped the Senegal edition will make a similar contribution, and Finlay hopes that other countries may follow suit.