The pillars that support the ethos of Journalism, Media and Press are anchored on Truth, Fairness, and Accuracy. This means that the Press holds a sense of responsibility to themselves and the general public to report information/news which has been verified to be accurate and devoid of bias. It must not also be negatively targeted at a certain group of people regardless of the racial, regional, religious, political or ethnic affiliations.
With this in mind, it is somewhat difficult to commend the western press as one which collectively upholds the ethos of the Press, especially in reporting news about Africa and Africans.
It is sad that over the years, the western press has succeeded in painting certain false pictures about the African continent and adoring us in the worst colors possible. Surprisingly, many foreigners have the mindset that Africa is a continent where wild animals roam the streets and cannibals live in huts without electricity, thanks to the Western media.
It doesn’t just stop there! The bias in which the western press exhibits when reporting news about Africa is unforgivable and shameful. There is no doubt that this represents the thoughts of the Westerners in their unguided moments. It goes on to reflect what they think and wish Africa and Africans in general.
You will agree that perceptions are very powerful. In fact, they can be more powerful and far more influential than reality. If not guided, they have the power not to only represent something or someone in a negative light but could also begin to make the person(s) in question change their mindset about themselves and loose dignity and self-worth.
This is the current position which Africa finds itself. Africans are beginning to doubt themselves and lose faith in the unity of the continent. Why is there so much misconception about the continent and its people? Does it mean that nothing good is happening on the continent?
All we hear is war and cries of disaster. The sad reality is that our local media has not helped matters, as many media agencies have allowed themselves to be immense in the belief that Africa is a continent of sad tales where nothing good can happen. This perception must change.
While it may be difficult to change the western perception of Africa, we must work hard to change our own perception of ourselves, and we must start now!
Some of the laughable misconceptions about Africa include:
- Africans Share a Homogeneous Culture
- Africa is a Desert
- All African Countries are Poor and Depend on Aid
- Africa is a Continent Full of Corruption, Poverty, and War
- All Africans are Dark Skinned
- Africa Lacks Technology
- All Africans Live in Huts
- Man and Wild Animals Live Together
Africa must tell its own story and fight the misconceptions of the western press.
At The African Exponent (TAE), we deliver balanced and unbiased reportage of Africa with the aim debunking unethical news/myths and defending the goodwill of Africans in showcasing to the world that we are a peace-loving continent made up of hard-working people.
What are your thoughts?
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