Balancing the good news out of Africa versus the bad - a foreign reporter's perspective


Lake Victoria

"Oh you mzungu's," (mzungu basically means white person in Swahili)
a skeptical Kenyan journalist said to me. "You just tell bad stories
about us here. There is never any good news."

It's a tricky topic, indeed the coverage of good news versus bad
news in Africa, and how the bad news seems to trump the good news more
often than not. I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and how
journalists can find the balance between telling the truth, exposing
wrongs and yet, also not bombarding the public with only bad news.

The criticism is justified -- to an extent.

Is there biased and distorted reporting? Absolutely. Just as there
is in North America. Just as there is in Europe. For whatever reason,
many many many of the journalists I worked with were white, British
men. Now, I'm not slagging white, British men, but I definitely agree
there needs to be a shift in who is covering the continent,
particularly an increase of reporters from the countries they cover.
Why shouldn't a Sudanese reporter cover Sudan for the BBC? or AFP? Or
Reuters? And I will say most outlets, from my experience, are shifting
this way.

Read more here.

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