Debora Patta and other foreign correspondents in Africa

We receive information from all over the world, thanks to foreign correspondents who bring us this news. To get better insights into this essential branch of journalism, three foreign correspondents joined Eusebius McKaiser to talk about the challenges they face.

CBS African correspondent Debora Patta, the BBC’s Andrew Harding and The Globe and Mail’s correspondent, Geoffrey York have been stationed all over the world, including some of the places in Africa that are ravaged by war.

Whenever we go on a story we have to pitch. We compete against our colleagues around the world. They are not going to take every story, they are not going to pay for every story.

Debora Patta, CBS African correspondent

One of the biggest challenges foreign correspondents face is convincing their employers of the importance of a story. It is difficult to get all the complexities of a situation across, particularly in Africa.

To make sure they do this to the best of their ability, Harding says foreign correspondents must fully understand everything that is going on.

As foreign correspondents we are trying to see into the future. We are constantly asked ' Where the hell is South Africa going? Is it a Zimbabwe? It is a Norway or Nigeria? What's going on?

Andrew Harding, BBC correspondent

When it come to the parts of Africa that is of the most interest to the rest of the world, CBS places a priority on terrorism. Patta says stories on AL Shabab or Boko Haram will always get on air.

York says in Canada, South Africa is the country they are most interested in, because of the residual history. In the late 1980s, Canada was one of the leaders in the anti-apartheid struggle so there is still that interest.

Many South Africans moved to Canada in the '70s, '80s and '90s and they are a big part of the readership when I write about South Africa. Unfortunately what you find is South African emigrants who have left and want justify their decision.

Geoffrey York, The Globe and Mail’s correspondent

Listen to the full round table below:


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