Crisis in African countries (Namibia, Congo, Nigeria etc.)

We often underestimate the power of the media - that it can shape or reconstruct our thoughts and channel our perception of life. The media is also capable of reinforcing dominant ideologies and it can elude the public to prioritize one occasion or event from others.

About prioritizing events, this is the notion that the media is exercising concerning the African and the West occurring crises, the United States of America (USA) in this case. It is done by placing more value and highlighting events that occur in the west more than those that are occurring in the third-world countries.

Several events that occurred in 2020, namely: Australian bushfires, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant’s death, Trump impeachment, Black Lives Matter, Lebanon explosion, Chadwick Boseman’s death, and USA elections. These are this year’s event that you might have read or heard about due to how the media often covered them. However, that does not imply that those were the only events that required the world-scale attention or assistance, for they are just a portion of the number of events that occurred worldwide that did not receive equivalent attention.

In Africa alone, there are already several events that occurred that acquire a sufficient world’s assistance. Unfortunately, due to less coverage by media at large, and western media in particular, some events were incapable of reaching a wide range of audiences worldwide.

These events include the wildfires that occurred in South Central Africa consuming a large portion of crops and wildlife. Second, the locust outbreak that invaded several African countries destroying their food security. Third, the Congo civil war that resulted in the death of more than 1 300 people and half a million fleeing the country. And fourth, the End-SARS movement in Nigeria that is fighting to eradicate police brutality that has been existing for more than two decades.

The Western media is often perceived as the spectacle and ears for the world to know about the events occurring around them, hence platforms such as BBC, CNN, The Daily Show, and others. Without the coverage of international events from these platforms, excluding Aljazeera which publishes African content to the world, the general worldwide audience becomes left out on the events occurring on the other side of the world.

Therefore, that is why I perceive citizen journalism as a way forward of collecting and reporting news and information by citizens through the use of online platforms. For instance, take note of how the #BLM and #EndSARS movement on Twitter were able to reach out to millions of users in a short period of time. I do not believe the world does not want to hear about other people’s struggles and needs, it is the modes of communication that needs to be improved so that people can prioritize the Third-world’s issues as much as any first world-country, especially those that are still in motion here in Africa.

 

Reference

Salo, J. 2020. 2020 events so far: Yep, these major world events all happened this year. Available from: https://nypost.com/list/major-2020-events/ [04/11/2020]

Njangi, D. 2020. The Biblical locust plagues of 2020. Available from: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200806-the-biblical-east-african-locust-plagues-of-2020 [04/11/2020]

Aljazeera. 2020. UN: 1,300 civilians killed in DRC violence, half a million flee. Available from: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/6/5/un-1300-civilians-killed-in-drc-violence-half-a-million-flee [03/11/2020]