Western media vs. local media: who represents Africa better?

The West doesn’t understand African issues Asked why they tend to shift to covering wars and disease more extensively in Africa, a friend of mine who works with Al Jazeera told me that “bad news attracts seriously more attention.” From that, I confirmed what I suspected all along - humans are one sadist species.
Ivan R. Mugisha
Ivan R. Mugisha

The West doesn’t understand African issues

Asked why they tend to shift to covering wars and disease more extensively in Africa, a friend of mine who works with Al Jazeera told me that “bad news attracts seriously more attention.” From that, I confirmed what I suspected all along - humans are one sadist species.

Wars and disease are no longer a ‘bad thing’ but a business venture to the West. That is why not even for one second should anyone imagine that BBC, CNN, Reuters or (even Al Jazeera) are hoping for wars to end in Africa. They feed on them and without bullets flying in Africa; all those multimillion western media houses will break down.

That is why they twist news to their advantage- take for example the coverage on the current conflict in the DRC. Much as the conflict is deep-rooted within DRC‘s sovereign confines, most, if not all western media agencies have made it sound like DRC’s problems stem from its neighboring countries.

Only local media from the East African region has come out to extensively cover those seeking for real solutions to the conflict, as well as seeking for a fair coverage on the events. All the West has done in this case is to take sides and mudsling at those outside DRC, as if that, in anyway, can help bring peace to the central African troubled nation.

Much as the West has vulgar resources and can have more access in places and situations where African media may not, they still lag behind on understanding the context of the conflicts and challenges that Africa faces.

That is why if anyone wants to comprehend real African issues, the first stop shouldn’t be at a foreign radio or a foreign news website. Real comprehensive and analytic news can only be got from African journalists. Most of the time, these African journalists are not just pressmen but credible sources because they live and dine where these conflicts are.

In fact, journalists from England or France will only take flights in and out of the country and take what is on the ground at the time of their reporting. What they will get is simply that - plain and not truthfully analytical.

When there is a riot in Africa, it is war according to the West, but when the same happens in their countries, the people are only exercising their freedom of expression.

To them, all African governments are ‘regimes’ and not administrations- how can that be seen as a representation of the real Africa?

To them, Africa is a place where journalists are persecuted- they forget that in their own countries, real journalists like Julian Assange who exposed the true nature of their governments is facing shady rape charges cooked by the dictatorial wet governments he exposed.

I know African journalists have a long way to go before they can help change the negative African image created by the West. But even with the limited resources, I’d most definitely love to read a new story about Boko Haram from the Nigerian press before I check what CNN has to say.

 

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