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Old 04-21-2007, 08:14 PM   #1
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Where's the News Coverage on Africa?

I live in the USA and I rarely see any news reports on what is happening in Africa.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:18 PM   #2
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http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/

Front page news on Nigeria.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:27 PM   #3
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The situation in Darfur is approaching what happened in Rwanda, purely in terms of death toll. Once it's finally over, we'll immediately get all "outraged" over how we "possibly could've allowed this to happen" without intervening. Maybe the UN will make some declaration on the definition of genocide. (if it's not clear enough). there will be a movie on it that will be released in the late fall/winter season for maximum Oscar potential. It will star Cuba Gooding Jr. and everyone will talk about how chilling and eye-opening it was, and shake their heads at how something like that could happen. But mostly they'll just talk about how it revitalized Cuba Gooding Jr.'s career (no offense to Radio). There will also be numerous 20/20 specials.

Then again there are plenty of specials now. I give money to many causes when I can (I'm only a teenager so donations aren't my best means of helping people). But I'm reluctant wondering if my money to UNICEF will do anything of substance. If not money- they say you can raise awareness. But you know what? People are aware. Lots of people are aware, they just don't give a fuck. And the people who have no clue where Darfur is are the ones who wouldn't give a fuck anyway. We can pretend all we want but it doesn't change the reality.

So to answer your question we don't give a fuck, with the exception of eye-opening 20/20 specials that are during the human interest period that everyone is expected to shake their head at sadly and forget immediately afterward.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:32 PM   #4
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VG! What a post!
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:38 PM   #5
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Of the major American papers I'd say the New York Times devotes the most coverage to Africa, though the focus tends to be on "flashpoint" issues (active military conflicts, controversial elections etc.) with the occasional feature story.

http://allafrica.com/

This is a Mauritius-based site (with offices in Washington DC) that sources from dozens of African papers and press agencies which I sometimes use. You can search by country and/or topic or just read the day's top headlines.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:44 PM   #6
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If cats and dogs aren't dying, and if celebrities aren't making asses of themselves, then Americans aren't going to want to know.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:44 PM   #7
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^ Hey I was just going to say that. There is news items about Africa in the NYT almost everyday.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:56 PM   #8
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I think you should re-evaluate your news sources.

Home page of The Globe & Mail website today

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/




On CBC radio, two daily programs The Current and As It Happens regularly interview officials or citizens from African nations like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Nigeria, Uganda

CBC nightly news program The National covers events in Africa and shows short documentaries focusing on Africa including some borrowed from our British friends at the BBC.

Channel Africa is broadcast for an hour as part of an international ensemble during the middle of the night on CBC radio.

http://www.channelafrica.org/portal/...dc4645401aeb9/

I don't watch U.S news on tv or read U.S newspapers so I can't help you regarding print or tv media in the U.S. It helps to have correspondents stationed in Africa. I have heard that only a few Western media outlets have reporters on the ground in Africa. I think only 1 or 2 U.S newspapers have someone in Africa. I believe the NYT is one and one of the big ones in L.A.

http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/ Go here for newspapers from around the world including Africa.

But I tend to agree with VG's post. Generally, people say that care but they don't really. Otherwise, public demand would want more African coverage besides just famine, AIDS or war. Our actions speak much louder than our words as a society. Africa is considered to the be the lost continent by the powers that be. Many individuals do care and contribute their time, money and skills through charity or actually visiting the region but those are rare gems in our community. I wish I could be that giving to go over and assist in a village or town but I don't .
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:25 PM   #9
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When I was living in Mali, I used to listen to the BBCs radio coverage, and they had extensive African programming in both French and English. I always enjoyed getting beyond the murder/war/AIDS/famine news that people always think of when they think Africa, to the variety of cultural and human interest stories that reflected the amazing diversity of the continent. The positive stories about how people are making a difference in their communities or the inside stories about the politics in a recent election. Sports headlines, complete coverage of FESPACO (film festival) in Burkina Faso, hearing listeners from all over Africa call in and voice their opinions. You couldn't help but realize how limited the coverage is over in the States. It makes me sad that for most Westerners, Africa is some kind of monolithic, monocultural black hole that sucks money and lives. (look no further than Bush's comment while running for President that "Africa is a great country"

The other day, I was trying to describe to a fellow returned Peace Corps volunteer why a West African film I'd recently seen was so evocative of the reality of the Africa I know. I found myself relating how the cinematography captured that amazing vibrant color and brightness that I never was able to get in my photos but permeates my memory. In my mind, Africa is far from the "dark" continent. I see it as a place filled with the sun and with the light of possibility.

btw, if anyone is interested in getting a more well-rounded collection of news and commentary, I would recommend you check out BBC Africa's website.
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:43 PM   #10
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I like the BBC's coverage too.

And I didn't mean to imply Africa's a giant pit of despair. But Africans do face a lot of issues we'd choose not to truly care about, and if we don't even want to hear about that (in a serious manner, not a disingenuous human interest segment), there's no chance we'd care at all about everything else that goes on in Africa. We generally tend to see Africa as cut off from the world and not our problem, or concern either way. Whether it's genocide or local election results.
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:47 PM   #11
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VG, glad you get the BBC. In fact, this thread inspired me to go listen to some of the audio up on the site and the familiar sound of the broadcasters is making me homesick. Btw, I didn't mean to imply you don't care; in fact, your post was well-put and unfortunately, all too true.
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:00 PM   #12
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I didn't mean to imply you were implying I was implying that. (Just reread my post and thought it should be clarified.)
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:05 PM   #13
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It's out there and it's getting better.

I'm doing my part. As a reporter here in Kansas I focus a lot on our Sudanese population, which is doing great things to help those still suffering back home.
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:50 PM   #14
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I think it's too simple to say they don't show it because we don't care. I think the media does a large part in training us to care about certain things. We aren't used to getting news about the rest of the world and local news is nothing but a circus. It's insulting really the dumbing down of current events for mass consumption. The average person coming home after a long day switches on the news and passively listens to what's going on. I wonder how many people REALLY know what's going on in Darfur. People like my parents read the local paper and watch the news. I think they think that they are informed. If hundreds of thousands of people were being killed you'd think it would make the news.

I mention it and get a blank look from most people. They are aware that there is conflict in Africa but a Holocaust I don't think people realize. It should be in our faces. With daily updates, I refuse to believe we don't care.

Local news is pure shit and nat'l news isn't much better. Of course you can find important stories online and keep yourself informed but that isn't the point really.
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:57 PM   #15
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It's true that they train us to care about Sanjaya and Alec Baldwin, and every minute detail of the VT shooter's life (because they know we'll all be sickly fascinated by it).

Maybe people would react differently if they knew more specifically what's going on. But I know *a lot* of people who, when you mention Darfur, will be like "oh yeah some kind of genocide, right?" all nonchalantly. They may not know specifics, but they don't seem to care. It's just something to change the channel on when a special report on it is aired because who needs that depressing crap? (I'm not saying I haven't changed the channel. I have, because I feel like there's not a damn thing on the earth I can do to stop it.) And the people who don't know what's going on, when told there's a horrible genocide going on, just sort of say "oh." Maybe we should start using the word Holocaust as a general term instead of genocide. god I dunno

(sorry if I made this all about Darfur, kind of goes against the point that other normal, day to day events occur in Africa.)
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:15 AM   #16
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Meh. . .I think in general it's less about Africa per se, than the world in general. I find the average American is pretty clueless about the rest of the world compared to the average person outside of the U.S.

As for "caring", I think that's human nature. Something tells me the folks in Italy aren't particularly torn up about what happened in Virginia last week. . .or what's happening in Darfur either. I think it's always hard for people to "care" about something that doesn't seem to directly touch or impact them.

I agree that placing more emphasis on the full of extent of the tragedy taking place in Darfur would help a lot. That, and emphasizing a more a balanced picture of Africa as whole, because what seems to galvanize people is when they find out about some horror happening in a place that is otherwise "normal." I suspect that many people in the rest of the world (not just the U.S) tend to view Africa is just one big place of multiple horrors of disease, war, and poverty etc and it's hard for them to distinguish Darfur from all the rest of the horribleness.

And I must confess I'm speaking for myself as much as anyone, as I know my knowledge of the situation in Darfur is limited too.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
because I feel like there's not a damn thing on the earth I can do to stop it.
Maybe this is the real core of the problem when Americans (and others) are considering the horror. What can we actually do?
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:18 AM   #18
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Originally posted by maycocksean
I agree that placing more emphasis on the full of extent of the tragedy taking place in Darfur would help a lot.
How? Would we write our Congressmen, demanding something?
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by martha


How? Would we write our Congressmen, demanding something?
I wrote Woolsey and Feinstein several monthas ago. I got an e-mail saying thanks for e-mailing.

Bottom line - these people only care about what gets them elected. If Africa concerns become real popular - then we'll hear more hot air and possibly see an increase in funding somehwere.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:55 AM   #20
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Well, that's true.
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