Nieman Reports

Fall 2004

Africa: Stories to Be Told

Cover for Fall 2004

Africa is portrayed in the Western media by its extremes, observes Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo, a managing editor with the Nation Media Group in Nairobi, Kenya. Stories about its civil wars, human rights abuses, government corruption, disease and poverty abound, but these have been joined by Western reporting that, in Onyango-Obbo’s opinion, can be too willing to celebrate the promised reforms of emergent leaders for whom greater journalistic scrutiny should be applied. The result: “… the leadership in Africa became not only complacent, but also used the flattering international coverage to muzzle internal critics and vigorous independent reporting ….”

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Journalist’s Trade: Africa: Stories to Be Told

Fall 2004: Journalist’s Trade Introduction

By Journalist’s TradeAfrica: Stories to Be Told September 15, 2004

Africa is portrayed in the Western media by its extremes, observes Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo, a managing editor with the Nation Media Group in Nairobi, Kenya. Stories about its civil wars, human rights abuses, government corruption, disease and poverty abound, but these have been joined by Western reporting that, in Onyango-Obbo’s opinion, can be too willing to celebrate the promised reforms of emergent leaders for whom greater journalistic scrutiny should be applied. The result: “… the leadership in Africa became not only complacent, but also used the flattering international coverage to muzzle internal critics and vigorous independent reporting ….” Read more

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Publisher
Bob Giles
Editor
Melissa Ludtke
Assistant Editor
Lois Fiore
Editorial Assistant
Sarah Hagedorn
Design Editor
Deborah Smiley
Cover Story
Women run for cover as the sound of heavy gunfire bounces off of the buildings and homes in downtown Monrovia, Liberia, while a battle rages. Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times

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