CNN Announces Newsgathering Plans for Africa

CNN continues its international newsgathering expansion with the announcement today that the network is broadening its presence in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa and appointing additional Africa-based correspondents.

In total, four new correspondents will be based in Africa with two in South Africa at CNN’s current Johannesburg bureau, one in Nairobi, Kenya, and one in Lagos, Nigeria.

“This expansion underscores the importance of Africa to our viewers,” said Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president of international newsgathering for CNN Worldwide. “These new resources enable us to produce more content for all of CNN’s services, increasing the coverage of social, cultural, political and business news from a mix of countries and datelines. We want to ensure that our viewers have the most comprehensive, vibrant reporting on this most diverse and fascinating of continents.”

Award-winning South African reporter Nkepile Mabuse joins CNN from ETV, South Africa’s leading independent television station. She will be based in Johannesburg. Previously, Mabuse won the CNN MultiChoice African Journalism Award and has covered a wide range of domestic and international stories including the London bombing in 2005 and the Zimbabwean elections.

Also based in South Africa will be Robyn Curnow, who is returning to CNN after previously anchoring and reporting at CNN’s bureau in London. Before joining CNN in London, Curnow worked for the BBC as a reporter and producer. She started her career at the South African Broadcasting Corporation, where she was a senior correspondent and anchor reporting on stories that included Nelson Mandela’s presidency, the Mozambique floods and the land invasions in Zimbabwe.

David McKenzie, who will be based in Nairobi, has reported from more than 30 countries in Africa during his career, covering stories such as the unrest in Somalia, instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the humanitarian crisis in Darfur He recently filed reports for CNN on the elections in Kenya and also did a number of reports for the “CNN Heroes” initiative.

CNN’s newsgathering expansion in Kenya and Nigeria includes reporter Christian Purefoy, who will be based in Lagos, and additional services provided by Vivid Features. Purefoy is not new to CNN having worked on various projects including CNN International’s Inside Africa program over the past few years.

These new appointments and extended resources are all part of CNN’s on-going and major investment program in both newsgathering and editorial resources in order to generate and own more content for all of its platforms.

As for Africa specifically, CNN’s commitment to coverage of the continent has never been greater. Alongside ongoing reporting on the breaking news out of the region, CNN’s Inside Africa program is in its ninth year, and CNN’s feature and documentary output regularly showcases social, business and cultural reports from the continent. Off air, the CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards enters its 13th year with the 2008 event will take place in Accra, Ghana.

The new correspondents will join CNN’s Johannesburg bureau chief Kim Norgaard in providing viewers with regular and comprehensive reporting from the region and will complement CNN’s existing roster of talent regularly covering Africa including Femi Oke, Isha Sesay and Zain Verjee.

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