A New Program on the Good News Broadcast Network September 2010. Produced by Paul Sladkus/Good News Broadcast and Dawn Cooper Barnes…Good News AFRICA! is a thirty minute weekly television series whose aim is to educate and entertain audiences about Africa by closely examining one African country within each episode. Ultimately, the series will feature each of the fifty-three African nations for a total of fifty-three half hour programs. For centuries Africa has been described as “the dark continent,” not only because it is the home of dark-skinned peoples but because of the mysterious and often unsettling mythology emanating from this vast and diverse continent. Fascination with the African continent is undeniable; however, to the great frustration of Africans and those who love Africa, the news from the continent is almost always extremely depressing. Abject poverty, devastating diseases like malaria, not to mention the HIV-AIDS pandemic, wars, child soldiers, blood diamonds, droughts, famine… These are the headline stories coming out of Africa. While all of these dismal issues still plague many regions of the African continent, Africans tire of these negative images which tend to stereotype them as a people. Lovers of Africa desperately wish to communicate the good news of their rich cultural heritage, the changing face of politics, the budding opportunities for serious investors and the sheer beauty of their magnificent continent. This program is a platform from which Africans can tell the world the good news about their respective homelands. Undoubtedly, because of growing intrigue with all things African, there is an eager audience for this program which promises to be educational, engaging and entertaining. Good News Africa! has the good fortune to be produced in New York City by producers who have excellent contacts within the United Nations. All fifty-three nations of Africa are represented at the United Nations headquartered in New York and the initial point of contact for information, interviews, geographic maps, historical background, pictures, video, artistic talent and entertainment will be with the respective country missions to the United Nations. The designated press agents, ambassadors, available officials of governments and, whenever possible, even heads of states will be interviewed. Video footage will be obtained from the various countries whether related to tourism or the daily lives of people. We will also record live performances of artists and entertainers from the featured nation who are visiting or reside in New York City. The format of the program will be in six short segments including: (1) Opening- 2 minutes; (2) High Profile Interview – 7 minutes; (3) The People -7 minutes; (4) Travel and Tourism – 4 minutes; (5) The Culture – 5 minutes; (6) Entertainment and Closing -5 minutes. ? Opening Segment -?In this two minute segment, a promotional preview will feature the host summarizing the content of the program with preview clips from the program to follow. This will serve to spark the interest of the viewer so they will not want to miss the program to follow. This segment might have a sound bite or two from the interview of the high profile individual from the featured country such as the Ambassador, Minister, Prime Minister, or President followed by images from the country and musicians playing a live concert or performing an ethnic dance. Whatever the highlights of the episode might be, the opening two minutes will be the place to tantalize the audience and make them want to sit still for more. ? The High Profile Interview -?In this segment, which will be about seven minutes long, the host will interview the ambassador, press secretary, minister, or head of state allowing them to give the historical background and key characteristics of their country. A map of the continent of Africa with the featured country’s location highlighted will be used and basic information relevant to the country’s size, population, religious demographics, major ethnic groups, major industries, and activities will be stated. Depending upon the interviewee, the general political climate of the country may be described. This segment will allow the audience to participate by sending in questions to be asked of the guests ahead of the recording. The Good News Broadcast’s Webpage will post background information on the upcoming guests in order to allow the audience to send in questions by email or regular mail. Whenever someone’s question is used, the host will attribute the question to the individual. This will encourage potential viewers to check out the programs and hear responses to their questions or concerns. If in the future the program is broadcasted live, phone calls or emails could be taken in real time. ? The People -?In this segment, which will also be about seven minutes long, the people of the featured country will be shown in issues related to health, the environment, education, and daily life. This will be an opportunity to profile positive strides being made in the areas of health, the environment, education, agriculture, or anything that affects the ordinary people of the country. ?Travel and Tourism ?Many countries in Africa have a focus on attracting tourists. This segment, which will be about four minutes long, will be a travelogue guiding the potential traveler through what it would take to get to this destination along with some highlights of things not to miss once you get there. The audience will have the opportunity to learn about websites and agencies where more information is available about travel to the country featured. ?The Culture -?In this five minute segment one or more aspects of the culture of the country will be highlighted. This could be arts and crafts; food and cooking; special ceremonies or festivals, fashion, hair braiding or any aspect of the feature country’s culture. ?Entertainment and Closing -?Every program will end with music, theater, dance, or some entertainment aspect of the featured country. This could either be video obtained through the country’s mission or embassy from their local television stations or artists could be brought into the Good News studio to perform. Almost every African nation has artists represented in New York City and this is an opportunity to showcase their talent. The show will wrap up around this entertainment piece. This final segment will be about five minutes long. ? What resources do we have for our program? ?Most of the source material will be generated directly from representatives of the various African countries based in New York. Pictures, videotape, personalities to interview, maps and historical information are all readily available. Given our familiarity with the African member states and their missions at the United Nations, we are confident about the enthusiastic involvement of most, if not all, of the countries. This is especially true because we can assure them that this is good news and, to a great extent, they will control the content of the program about their country. This is an opportunity for Africans to tell the world the good things about their rich and diverse continent. ? Who is our target audience? ?In terms of audience demographics, we are confident that many people will want to watch this exciting program. Initially, the program will be webcast on the Good News Broadcast Network which currently presents the very popular show, The Water Hour, among other programs. We expect that various distribution outlets with an interest in international affairs, business, travel, adventure, geography, social science, history, and environmental issues will want to carry this program. Colleges, universities and high schools will realize that this series is essential to their curriculum wherever the continent of Africa is covered. Other audiences for this series are tourism organizations world wide and business investors with a keen interest in Africa. A crucial part of our marketing strategy is to write up each program in a way that will allow all major search engines to pick up the link to Good News Africa! on the Good News Broadcast Network. ? Audiences should expect variety, intrigue – a show that many will not want to miss. ? As a matter of process, the producers will contact representatives of each African nation beginning alphabetically from Algeria to Zimbabwe in order to give each country a chance to be showcased. ?