Amélie Gue – Committed journalist 2.0
At the time of the 2014 Revolution in Burkina Faso, Amélie Gue was one of the few women journalists on the front line in the field. Today, at the age of 31, she continues her civic commitments in her show “AmiNet”.
Profiled by Emmanuel de Solère Stintzy.
On TV, her voice is more often that not assured. Her passion visible. Creator and presenter of the show AmiNet dedicated to social networks, Amélie Gue, Burkinabé, 31, has journalism firmly rooted within her. “I've always wanted to do this job! Day and night, my daddy had his little radio with him. We used to listen to the news, investigations and political debates over and over again.”
Determined to “provide information and participate in a citizen awakening”, Amélie left her home town of Bobo-Dioulasso for the capital, Ouagadougou. There, she obtained a BA in Modern Literature, then a master's degree in journalism from the Pan-African Institute for the Study and Research on Media, Information and Communication (Ipermic).
With the Citizen's Revolution of 2014, which put an end to the 27-year reign of ex-president Compaoré, her career got off to something of a flying start... “Even when the demonstrations were suppressed and some said that a woman had no place being at the forefront, Amélie was always on the ground, her trainers on her feet. She showed that female journalism in Burkina Faso was not just newsreaders with pretty faces!”, says Ismaël Ouédraogo, director of Burkina Info TV. “It's true, there weren't many of us in the field, but when you have a love for the job, you learn and you take the plunge!”, says Amélie Gue in summary.
However, the young journalist found herself on the verge of drowning on two occasions ... During the attempted military coup of 2015, she avoided being beaten with a whip at a roadblock of the Presidential Security Regiment but was beaten a few days later by protesters close to the former president. Wounded in the shoulder, does she think she does not have the stature of a journalist then?
“No, it's a risky job, but when you embrace it, you commit yourself to it... Journalism doesn't stop at air-conditioned lounges!”, the young woman assures us, more determined than ever to “be useful to others”.
“Intrepid journalist and committed activist”
Civic engagement that started in... Year 7! At the time, little Amélie was already making her classmates aware of HIV/AIDS, during informal debates. Now Principal Civic Society Outreach Officer at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Luther Yaméogo has been carrying out civic activities with Amélie Gue for 10 years. He appreciates “the consistency of her career as an intrepid journalist adept at fact-checking and an activist committed to monitoring public policies.”
With this dual role, the CFI training courses delivered during the Faso Médias and Médias 360°, were doubly useful to him: “Even today, I use certain tools for citizen monitoring of public policies and online verification that I was given during these training sessions.”
Journalist 2.0, “responsive, able to quickly find the right contacts” as Cyriaque Paré (founder of lefaso.net) underlines, Amélie is today the creator and presenter of the ‘AmiNet’ show, dedicated to social networks. The first season, broadcast on the Burkinabé TV channel BF1, ended in June 2020, after 30 episodes: “The outcome is positive. Some Internet users are now better known, in particular citizens who create applications to better inform themselves about or treat Covid-19. We are currently looking for partners for season 2.”
In 10 years...
In 10 years, Amélie Gue would like to be “inspiring other young women to tell themselves that anything is possible, provided they trust themselves and dare to do it”: “I hope that by then I would have succeeded in making AmiNet grow, why not beyond Burkina Faso. We also want to go into schools, talk to students to avoid certain behaviours such as bullying on social networks.”
Cyriaque Paré, with 30 years of experience in the media, especially online (lefaso.net), believes in the potential of Amélie and AmiNet: “She has the creativity and determination she needs to be her own boss and develop her show into a full-fledged digital niche channel!”
Luther Yaméogo, who has been leading civic activities with Amélie Gue for 10 years, also believes that: “Amélie is very knowledgeable about human rights and I see her at the head of a digital media company involved in the monitoring of public policies in Africa, but she must train in media project management.” Having become an entrepreneur, Amélie Gue will not forget her journalistic ethics: “I will avoid funding politicians to make sure that citizens can continue to question and criticise.”