Africa: Western media reports

Zimbabwean blogger Dumisani Nyoni, writing on Dumisani's Blog, offers a criticism of Western media interpretatons of Africa particularly Simon Robinson of Time Magazine (European edition)……”finally, why are these journalists [Michael Wines of the NY Times fame, as well as Rachel Swans and many others who write for different newspapers as the “Africa specialists”] always dodging the core real issues affecting democracy and good governance and good living in Africa. The issues haven’t changed for over 500 years – the desire to have and control those resources that flow out of Africa. If we’re honest, we’ll admit that democracy in Africa is by and large corrupted by the need to access and control those resources. Often in arrangements involving parties on both sides of the equation. But it’s much, much easier and more acceptable to write about failed leadership and weak institutions. It keeps the dogs of the scent. And it keeps us obsessing about voting for the next loser in Africa and missing the real point.”


  • Mwoyo Chirandu

    The media are merely an extension of the eco-political base (ref: Gramsci) and it is therefore not surprising that their job is to throw people off the scent. Further, it is highly unlikely that our media will ever change. Our journalists are either too ignorant, too bigoted, too cock-sure or too gullible to get to the core of the issues. The really good journalists who try and raise such questions inevitably find themselves either unemployed or working for the fringe media.


    One point you missed out on was the NGO phenomenon. The role of NGOs can never be discounted. For further reading on the corrosive effects of bodies like the National Endowment for Democracy and USAid you can read Sam Vaknin’s “The Self-Appointed Altruists” and Robert Blum’s “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower”. Related reading of a very high quality is “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”.
    Thanks for the piece though. It’s rather incisive!

  • Mupfana Mumwewo

    Perhaps it is time America explained what exactly democracy is. Some of us get the distinct feeling that democracy is doing what the US wants. After all, that is the experience from Uganda, Rwanda, Iraq before Sadam fell out of favour and the various destabilisation activities in Latin America. Remember Oliver North and Iran-Contra. That is democracy. So are Abu Graihb and Guantanamo Bay.

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