What really annoys me is the lack of reliable news coming from the African continent. Well, let me be more precise; I mean information, be it politic, investigative, social, cultural, sport, science, economic and financial written by Africans.
Again, let me be more specific; in English, free of censorship and influence of any type.
I don’t want a tabloid with a compilation of the best, most relevant or interesting articles from different part of the continent.
No! I want one, with its own purely diverse African character and personality. I want verve, pizzazz with controversial unabashed provocative colorful zings and twists.
I am looking for an all-inclusive world authoritative media outlet about what is Africa by Africans. The continent, to the contrary, does not lack qualified journalists which can take up this challenge.
However, most are located where press freedom is gagged, muffled or, and yes it still exist, eradicated and replaced by only State sponsored Media.
On this topic does Italy falls into the last category? Hmmm!
Anyway, the natural instinct of humans is preservation. Justifiably, journalists working from reluctant press freedom countries, to make a living write what is asked and in the requested manner. It is understood and, at the least, self-censorship switch to auto pilot and flows as a way of life.
Therefore, I will not insist for such product to come from the continent but the obvious challenge is with its Diaspora.
It is important for African journalist to pen to paper their own articles; they have a better understanding of their society, culture and thinking. They feel and sense what outsiders minimize or overlook.
European, American or Asian journalists have a keen insight when writing about their continents. But, the “accent” is foreign and sometimes the flavor is tinged with the incorrect amount of seasoning when writing outside their cultural areas.
The outcome is striking, as an example, Al Jazeera speak of the Muslim experience in the USA with different eyes than CNN does.
That’s normal; Al Jazeera talks about their people, while CNN talks about these people. It is not an outsider looking inside but an insider exploring its inside and that’s what makes the difference.
The format for the interview by BBC journalist Zeinab Badawi of John Garang on Hardtalk was better arranged than if it had been conducted by Tim Sebastian who is born in England.
Zeinab Badawi and John Garang are both from Sudan, one from the North and the other from the South. The interview, controversial or not, was a challenge of the mind, like a Democrat versus a Republicans.
Zeinab Badawi, raised and schooled in England, always kept her Sudanese cultural heritage and the interview was African.
When a South African journalist mentions the polygamist marriages of President Jacob Zuma, he understands, he is part of the culture.
French may write with epicurean delight about eating snails. An outsider is clueless in the pleasures of eating slimy creatures carrying their home on their back. No amount of positive reinforcement will produce a pleasurable experience on such a foamy topic.
African Media by African on African issues do exist. But not in the English language which provides a wider global audience.
One of the acceptable, to me, media coming to mind is “Jeune Afrique”, but it caters to French-speaking.
That’s why I ask in English! I want more of the world to know and experience it from Africans within an African format and uncensored.
- South Africans hold media protest (bbc.co.uk)
- Something I Learned in School About African Culture (socyberty.com)