Jump to content

Wiki Loves Africa 2023/Communication/Messaging and Media

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Wiki Loves Africa 2023 : Climate & Weather – Organisers' Hub

The resources below are to assist community organisers as they engage with the press and partners about Wiki Loves Africa activities and events. For contest-specific materials, resources and branded items, please see this page. The information on this page has been adapted from Media resources for Wikimedia 20.

Media Toolkit: Talk about Wiki Loves Africa 2023 Contest


With this toolkit, you will be equipped to speak to a range of audiences, providing a consistent voice and message for the contest. The material offered below should ensure consistency, but also be flexible enough to ensure adaptability to your local community, language and context. How to use the toolkit:

  • Read through the full toolkit, or the parts most relevant to what you want to say to become familiar with the content.
  • Take a moment to clearly define the following:
  • What tool or method are you going to use to deliver the message. Tools consist of email, press releases, news alerts, presentations, social media posts, etc.
  • Consider who you are speaking to - what are they interested in, what do they want to do, how can they be involved if they are interested, what do they care about?
  • Define why you are creating it - what do you want your audience to know and especially what do you want them to do.
  • Read the "Messaging our theme" section and consider if there is something in the theme(s) that your audience may be interested in.

Remember these elements for the next steps ...

  1. Write a first draft of your materials. In most cases, it is helpful to start by sharing a little bit about why Wiki loves Africa matters so other people can share in our excitement.
  2. If your audience do not speak English, is this language accessible for them? Does it translate in a way that has meaning? (See the "Translation" section for help.)
  3. Read your draft again from the perspective of your target audience. Pretend to be them. Is it interesting? Is your call to action clear? Is anything confusing? Is it using language they can understand?
  4. Revise your draft! If possible, send it to someone else for editing and input.

You are done! Now you need to send it out to spread the word!

Messaging Wiki Loves Africa


About messaging:

  • When messaging around the Wiki Loves Africa contest, include facts about milestones, moments in time – the more surprising/interesting/human interest they are, the better.
  • Below are the generic facts, but you can show local impact too via the country statistics on this page.
  • Where possible, contextualise the last 8 years of the context. Bring the real, tangible and resonant things around the images and photographers that have been involved.
What problem does Wiki Loves Africa approach?
“Photography continues to play a key role in how we are seen, not just as Africans, but as black people from every corner of the world. Stereotypes and prejudice are incited by images, and if it’s used, yet again, to undermine those of us who are truly doing the difficult work, then we need to have some uncomfortable conversations.“ -- Aida Muluneh, Ethiopian photographer, The problem with photojournalism and Africa, Al Jazeera, 2017
We are visual beings: our perspectives, our world is shaped by the images we consume, often subconsciously. Photography captures a story in a moment. It is used to present a debilitating, repetitive, negative single-story of our continent. Conversely, it can positively alter our viewpoints by sharing powerful moments steeped in our specific cultures, shared humanity and universal reality, all the while presenting multiple African contexts.
Wiki Loves Africa reclaims Africa’s visual narrative with photos that illustrate alternative African perspectives and cultural living interpretations of universal and human realities on Wikipedia articles. Wiki Loves Africa is one of the largest annual photographic contests in Africa. Since 2014 it has spearheaded alternative ways for 9,000+ photographers to share their Africa with the world. Its success is remarkable given that World Press Photos reports only 3% of their 2021 annual submission came from Africa.
What is Wiki Loves Africa?
Wiki Loves Africa (WLA) is an annual photographic and media competition that encourages Africa’s visual storytellers. Wiki Loves Africa encourages people across Africa to contribute media (photographs, video and sound files) about their environment on Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia and other project websites of the Wikimedia Foundation. Wiki Loves Africa particularly encourages participants to contribute media that illustrate a specific theme for that year. Each year the theme changes and focuses on any universal, visually rich and culturally specific topic, such as Cuisine (2014), Cultural Fashion and Adornment (2015), Music and Dance (2016), People at Work (2017), Play! (2019), Africa on the Move! (2020) and Health + Wellness (2021), Home and Habitat (2022). In 2023, the theme focuses on Climate and Weather. Other information:
Wiki Loves Africa statistics
As one of the largest annual photographic contests in Africa, over the last 8 years Wiki Loves Africa’s team has built an alternative means for over 9,000 photographers from 53 countries to showcase their visions of ‘their’ Africa with the world, via the Wikimedia projects. The images have a life beyond the competition, with these images being placed in articles on Wikipedia, and thus being viewed by over 1.1 billion times (Sept 2022) altogether since Jan 2017; with 28 million eyes via Wikipedia articles in January 2022 alone.
Up to date facts:
  • There have been 8 contests held annually since 2014
  • 88,600 images donated by 9,277 submitters to the Commons under a free licence (CC-BY-SA);
  • Wiki Loves Africa images have been viewed 941.5 million times (Jan 2016 - Jan 2022) – each of those 941.5 million views has (for that individual reader) challenged the negative stereotypes and visual narratives that persist about Africa;
  • Wiki Loves Africa images are viewed between 23 million and 41 million times each month (depending on the month)
  • Wikimedia Communities in 30 African countries have hosted over 330 participation and training events;
  • The competition attracted high levels of new contributors, averaging 81% over the years;
  • A Wiki Loves Africa prize-winning image was included in The Journeys Through Our Fragile Heritage exhibition at UNESCO, Paris; and
  • Wiki Loves Africa’s ISA tool won the Multimedia category at the WikiData Awards 2019.
  • In December 2022, an image submitted to Wiki Loves Africa in 2017 won 3rd place in the 2021 Wikimedia Commons Picture of the Year.

Messaging for Wiki Loves Africa 2023: Climate and Weather


For more guidance on the theme, share the Wiki Loves Africa 2023: Theme

Why this theme

Climate and Weather are considered long-term pattern of weather in a particular area. Weather can change from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, month-to-month or even year-to-year. A region's weather patterns, usually tracked for at least 30 years, are considered its climate. Different parts of the world have different climates. Some parts of Africa are hot and rainy nearly every day. Some are dry for longer times than others.
Wiki Loves Africa's theme for 2023 celebrates the prevailing climates and day-to-day weather conditions of various locations on the African continent. In what ways have people adapted to the climates in the area where you live? What weather conditions do you associate with your lieu or habitat or country? Have you observed any recent drastic changes in the climate or weather conditions of your location or another african location you visit often? Images, videos and audio clips can capture these climatic and atmospheric conditions – thunderstorms, floods, clouds, winds, hurricanes, fogs, rainfall, sunlight, scorched earth, erosion, change in water levels, landscape vegetations, extreme heat, snow, ice, extreme cold, etc.

What visuals are accepted under this theme


Some elements that represent weather and climate may include but not limited to the following:

  • Shelter - sometimes mobile, often makeshift, shady area where residents cool in the hot, dry desert climate or protect coastal lands like a jetty.
  • Agriculture and livestock - farming techniques vary across climate conditions,the planting of certain crops and rearing of certain animals.
  • Global Warming - human activity that impacts climate causing rising temperatures and more intense weather phenomena like storms, sea level rise, inland flooding, and animal migration.
  • Natural disaster - droughts, hurricanes and typhoons, flooding in coastal areas, sand storms.
  • Natural Elements - Clouds, snow, the sun in different rise or set modes, storm clouds, lightning, thunder, landscapes, rainbows drainage systems, overflowing water bodies.
  • Weathering - of rocks, soil, metal elements, landslides, landforms, dunes, erosions.

The 2023 prize categories


There will be several winners. The international prizes are:


  • 1st Prize : USD 2,000
  • 2nd Prize : USD 1,500
  • 3rd Prize : USD 1,000
  • 4th Prize : USD 750

Media (Video, Audio, Graphics, Photo Essays):

  • Best audio or video prize : USD 1,000
  • Best graphics: USD 750
  • Africa Environment Video Prize: Best video representation of the impact of climate change : USD 2,000
  • Africa Environment Special Collection Prize: Best collections of images showing the impact of climate change : USD 1,200

In addition, some of the local national teams will host national ceremonies and national prizes.

Local teams can decide to award separate national prizes at their discretion. Please review the Countries page to see what is happening where and what prizes are available at a local level.

Engaging the media or press


Communications resources


Press releases


If you would like to write a press release specific to your group, below are some tips. You may also share the Wiki Loves Africa 2023 press release directly or borrow language from it for your own press release.

Why write a press release?

  • A press release is one way to raise awareness about an announcement.
  • Wiki Loves Africa is a global photographic competition with a local focus.Local press releases raise awareness in specific regions while showing the diversity of the movement.
  • Beyond the fact that we are visually celebrating Africa on Wikipedia, it gives you the opportunity to highlight other events that your group hosts, such as edit-a-thons, or local happenings connected to getting local knowledge and history about your region and people onto Wikipedia and its sister projects.

How do I write a press release?

  • A press release should read like a news story, written in third-person, citing quotes and sources and containing key information about an announcement.
  • It should also include a call to action i.e. "Visit [website link] for more information and to sign up"

How do I distribute a press release?

  • There are a number of ways to distribute a press release:
  • Share it by email with local reporters who might be interested. (Many publications have a contact us form on their website with reporter email addresses).
  • Publish it on an affiliate/community blog, or in the press section on your website.
  • Share a link on social media.

When should I distribute a press release?

  • You can share your press release with reporters before you publish it, so they have a "heads up" and are more likely to cover the news. This is sometimes called an "embargo." For more tips on working with the media, see the movement communications skills page.



Do you want to invite a journalist or partner to join in or make some noise about the launch of Wiki Loves Africa 2023? Here are some draft outreach messages to help get you started.

Partner email


Subject: Join Wiki Loves Africa as it visually celebrates [country] on Wikipedia

Hi X,

I am from [AFFILIATE], and I’d like to invite you to join the launch of the Wiki Loves Africa 2022 photo competition – Climate and Weather. Wiki Loves Africa is a global effort to rebalance how Africa is viewed online, and visually celebrate every thing that makes up Africa on the world’s largest online encyclopedia. We think this has significant relevance to your organization’s mission. [ADD CUSTOMIZED LANGUAGE HERE.]

There are a number of ways you or your institution can get involved:

  1. Help us amplify the launch of Wiki Loves Africa 2023 from 1st March on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook by using the hashtag #WikiLovesAfrica and #Climate&Weather and sharing a story about Wikipedia that is meaningful to you. You can also re-tweet messages from @WikiLovesAfrica, @WikiAfrica and [AFFILIATE SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT].
  2. Join us for any of these Wiki Loves Africa-focused [AFFILIATE EVENT]. Volunteers will be available to train your institution on how to upload and share images on Climate and Weather and how to add these images to illustrate articles on Wikipedia.


If you are interested in learning more, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Thank you,


Media pitch


Subject: Wiki Loves Africa launches 1st March 2023

Hi X,

March 1st is the launch of the annual Wiki Loves Africa photo competition. The theme focuses on images of Home and Habitat. Each year Wiki In Africa and [AFFILIATE NAME or simply Wikipedia volunteers] launch this global effort to rebalance how Africa is viewed online, and visually celebrate every thing that makes up Africa on the world’s largest online encyclopedia.

We’re hosting an event on [DATE]. We would like to invite you to learn more about Wiki Loves Africa and the power of images online. It is also an opportunity to learn more about Wikipedia, its engaged volunteer community, and our mission of making knowledge – especially African knowledge – and information available to everyone.

Let me know if you’re interested in joining our event or learning more about other events planned around one of Africa’s largest photographic competitions. We’d be happy to share more information with you!

Thank you,


Event summary


On the 1st March is the launch of Wiki Loves Africa, an annual visual celebration of Africa online via Wikipedia. This year, one of Africa’s largest annual photographic competitions is focusing on Climate and Weather. (Usergroup / community name / affiliate) will be launching this contest by (a short description of what you intend to do), for/to attract (describe your audience).

Example: On the 1st of March is the launch of Wiki Loves Africa, an annual visual celebration of Africa online via Wikipedia. This year, one of Africa’s largest annual photographic competitions is focusing on Climate and Weather. Wikimedia South Africa will be launching this contest in South Africa by increasing awareness in the press on the need to improve African content, and to attract South African photographers who would like to contribute to Wikipedia and win prizes.




My name is (your name) and I am a volunteer for Wikipedia (region). On the 1st March 2023 is the launch of Wiki Loves Africa, an annual photographic contest that is a visual celebration of Africa online via Wikipedia. (Usergroup / community name / affiliate) invites you to join our (event type), taking place on (date) at (time); where we will be (activity).

Click here (link to details of the event) learn more about our event.

To RSVP, please (state preferred method)

Messaging the Wikimedia movement


This list of directional messages and examples will grow over time. If you have ideas or best practice for content, please add it below. This content was originally sourced from the Wikipedia 20 Media Toolkit. Feel free to add to it.

Overarching guidance

When talking or writing about our movement, keep it short and as simple as possible; and always thread it with the "why" behind what we do. The more public-facing your communications will be, the more you should work on the assumption that people have no idea what you mean when you write things like "free knowledge" without explanation. Below are some different ways to write messaging about the movement, projects, and communities - feel free to use them as a base for your content.

About Wikipedia:

  • Wikipedia is the world’s source of free information about anything and everything. Today, Wikipedia is visited more than 15 billion times every month from people around the world.
  • With more than 53 million articles across 300 languages, you can find an endless collection of knowledge on Wikipedia, and if something is not there - you can add it.
  • Wikipedia is a collaborative creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people like you from around the world since it was created in 2001: everyone can edit it, at any time.
  • All of this knowledge has been added, edited, and debated by people. More than 250,000 people edit Wikipedia every month from all walks of life, experience, language, and cultures. They use reliable sources to verify the facts in articles. The sources they use are referenced and listed at the bottom of each article, so readers know where the information comes from. Wikipedia contributors also monitor articles for bias or false information. In many cases, inaccurate information on Wikipedia articles is corrected within minutes, especially on high-profile articles.
  • The open editing model is one of Wikipedia’s greatest strengths. When many different people contribute to an article, it becomes more neutral, reliable, and trusted.

How Wikipedia works:


Wikipedia volunteer editors from around the world collaborate to write Wikipedia articles on virtually every subject area with neutral, cited information. Each language Wikipedia has its own standards and guidelines for what content exists on Wikipedia and how it should be presented. These rules generally indicate that information added on Wikipedia has to be notable, covered from a neutral point of view, and verified by reputable sources (such as a newspaper). The structure of Wikipedia allows everyone, everywhere to evaluate and assess the edits made to an article and make changes to content that does not meet Wikipedia’s editorial standards

All edits made on Wikipedia are consistently reviewed by other editors, who have a variety of resources at their disposal to monitor the quality of articles and address edits that do not meet Wikipedia’s standards. They can “watch” an article page to receive a notification every time it’s edited. In addition, they have access to tools like the recent changes feed (a feed of all the edits made to Wikipedia in real time), a feed of new article pages created on the site, and even bots (automated tools that patrol the site) that can quickly revert some common forms of negative behavior on the site automatically. Most vandalism and other negative behavior on Wikipedia is reverted within 5 minutes.

About the Wikimedia movement:

  • Volunteers around the world work together to set knowledge free. They upload photos, fix typos, chase sources, write code, and start articles all to sustain the dream of a world where every human has access to the sum of the world’s knowledge.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people come together to learn, create and share their knowledge.
  • Hundreds of thousands of everyday people make Wikipedia possible by writing, debating the facts, and updating information so everyone has access to free, trustworthy knowledge.
  • Hundreds of thousands of volunteers worldwide, working to add and improve content on Wikipedia — helping ensure reliable information is accessible to and representative of everyone, everywhere.
  • Wikipedia is the only top-10 website that's not-for-profit. It is created by thousands of volunteers and sustained by millions of donors who support free knowledge. It is trial and error; research and editing; the perfect example of human collaboration on the internet.

The Wikimedia movement’s purpose:

  • Open Knowledge. For everybody, because we make better decisions and live fuller lives, the more we know.
  • Make knowledge accessible to and representative of everyone, everywhere.
  • Help all human beings find common ground through knowledge.
  • Put knowledge creation and consumption directly into the hands of the people.
  • Set knowledge free - for everyone, everywhere.