Huffington Post quotes Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham on the media’s implicit double standard when covering African news stories:

J. Peter Pham, director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, said Westerners are less likely to pay attention to events happening outside the Western world in large part because of the lack of visuals available to them.

“We live in an era where if you don’t have video of something, it doesn’t lead off the story,” Pham said. “Paris is a media capital. All the major media have either access to studios there or permanently posted correspondents. Something happening in Paris is going to be covered around the clock.”


Mainstream media coverage of Africa has mostly shown a succession of famine, conflict, disease, humanitarian crises and genocide, Pham said. Though he is hesitant to accuse the media of racism, Pham believes there are racial elements to the lack of coverage.

“There’s an implicit double standard. When do media report from Africa? It’s not when there’s a good story to tell,” he said. “With the exception of [a] once in a generation good news story — for every Nelson Mandela or Desmond Tutu profiled and held up as a hero in the media, you’ve got by the dozen the Joseph Konys and Robert Mugabes of the world.”

Read the full article here.

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