The Sorious Samura Foundation
The Sorious Samura Foundation trains, mentors and supports journalists in Africa to develop quality news and investigative reporting skills. Although The Sorious Samura Foundation will draw on the experience of leading Western journalists, the organization’s primary focus is teaching and then empowering Africans to train Africans.
Business, political, and cultural leaders acknowledge that a free and independent media employing the highest standards of reportage is needed for any state to evolve. For nations to ultimately thrive democratically, socially, environmentally and economically this reportage is critical; however, it is sadly lacking - especially in African nations emerging from conflict.
International journalism is also at risk. Western broadcast networks and publishing houses are facing tough economic choices, and scaling back or closing their expensive foreign bureaus is a common money-saving decision. However, these problems also present an opportunity. Instead of relying on parachute journalism, with Westerners transiently dropping into hot spots to report the news, the void can be filled with true insight, understanding and reflection from journalists who not only know the story, but also know how it should be told.
The Sorious Samura Foundation will train local journalists not only to produce journalism to inform and educate their own societies, but also to help build the media into an integral and important institution, similar to its function in democratic Western nations, which will help facilitate the transition to democracy.
The Sorious Samura Foundation will also place special emphasis on the training and mentorship of female journalists. In many African countries, women play marginalized roles in their families and societies. As a result, key decisions involving the economy, human rights, the environment and health are made without women’s’ participation and often without their knowledge.
In the words of Sorious Samura, “In a continent where most journalists don’t have the proper discipline and are mainly employed by powerful politicians and businessmen to serve their own agenda’s, its obvious that the challenge for us Africans to tell our own complete and balanced stories responsibly, without fear or favor, is enormous.\"
The Sorious Samura Foundation will address this issue one nation at a time with a unique one-year training program that combines journalism and leadership training and then a long-term mentorship program comprised of networks spanning the world. The Sorious Samura Foundation’s goal is to develop people and stories that change Africa…and change the world.