Western Media Essay

1012 words - 4 pages

Africa is one of the richest continents in terms of resources and human population nonetheless; it is the poorest and least developed continent. A significant number of the population in the west are ignorant about Africa and have a negative attitude towards Africa, ‘Most of them have certain images of Africa that they hold to be true or real’, all these images are acquired though what they receive as news in the western media (Michira,2002). Often words used to describe Africa in the west include the following: dark, jungle, savage, underdeveloped, third world, hunger, disease, famine, drought, lack of history and culture. This essay will analyse the news reports about Africa with the help of The independent and The guardian newspapers; the reports will be from a one week period from 24th August 2010 to 30th August 2010. This essay will argue that western media reporting on Africa converges entirely on unfavourable views and ignores the positives. It will also show that news reports are negative, because it can be argued that western media audiences always expect dismal news from Africa, therefore; the news networks are merely supplying according to the demand.
Western media reporting focuses excessively on misery, this point of view is supported by (Howden, 2010) news article in The Independent newspaper; in which he portrays a detrimental view of the South African government by comparing it to the past regime of the apartheid era. The report is inaccurate to suggest that the government of South Africa is going backwards by denying freedom of speech and in addition, accuses the government of being corrupt and ineffective. This is a misguided view ,due to the fact that South Africa is one of the best examples of development that is taking place on the African continent; great advancement in infrastructure, social development and equality have been achieved. Howden undermines the success of the black community in South Africa by accusing them of corruption; this is wrong because blacks in this country have progressed to a level which was not attainable seventeen years ago when the white minority held power. South Africa has shown great progress, a good example is the success of the recent football world cup which took place on the continent. (Kagame, 2005) observes that, a large number of achievements from the African continent are unreported and when they are covered ‘they are adjusted to fit the western audience and presented in manner that suits that particular western audiences’.

Furthermore, western media news reports not only focus on misery but also on violence. (The Associated Press,2010) reports in The Independent newspaper; how Congolese rebels raped more than two hundred women and babies in the town of Luvungu in eastern Congo. This is an example of how violence plays a major part in the western media coverage of Africa. Equally important, are (Howden, 2010) and (Tran 2010) articles in The independent and The guardian...

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