Posts tagged ‘media’

August 26, 2012

The White Correspondent’s Burden: A Diaspora Response

The African diaspora intellectual gets a two-second mention in reporter Jina Moore’s recent admonition to Western journalists to, “tell the Africa story differently”–or better yet, tell Africa’s stories. Note the plural form. Moore bemoans journalism’s contribution to the dominant image of Africa as suffering from, well, everything. Her solution to this persistent and persistently warped narrative: nuanced story-telling and, she asks that journalists take a leap and re-imagine Africa.

What isn’t needed, she adds, is what many African diaspora intellectuals and activists, among others, have suggested: “taking the mic away from foreigners” altogether. It’s a curious non-option, made even more so by the poverty of her rationale. But I suppose it’s no more curious than the fact that Moore’s essay, provocatively titled, The White Correspondent’s Burden, essentially decries racism and white supremacy without ever mentioning those words. This do-si-do dance of the colorblind is fascinating, and, absurd. An essay calling for an end to the erasure of complexity from African life, erases, too.

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June 11, 2012

Haiti news coverage after the world has gone away

Support journalism done by Haitian journalists. Above, one training sponsored by Solidar’IT (Frederick Alexis).

It’s been nearly two years since I visited Haiti and a year since I’ve written about it on this blog. In a perfect world my silence here reflects how often I’ve thought about my time in the country, its problems and of course, this Develop Haiti-diaspora-aid news idea. In a perfect world.

Back then, I used to look ahead to what news coverage about Haiti would be like once the world and its money inevitably moved on. I see diaspora as key to developing Haiti because unlike the native-born, the world has a short attention span and ‘two-years-post-quake’ can’t make the coin jingle like ‘6-months-post-quake.’ With barely enough bright spots to dimly light a dark room however, the English language information on offer generally sucks. The reason is simple: very few people if anyone with a stake in Haiti’s development (diaspora, NGO, business, donors, etc) demand better information.

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August 19, 2010

Is the Haitian electorate stupider than any other?

Crowd of Cité Soleil residents trying to access aid back in January (Thony Belizaire, AFP)

Let’s assume from the outset that being illiterate means you don’t know how to read, not that you lack common sense.  Let’s assume that before the printing press hit the scene in the 1400s, human beings had figured out that, say, being a priest and being a merchant required different skillsets.

I’ve just read the umpteenth U.S. article about Wyclef Jean, which suggests he has a good chance of becoming president. He might. I just haven’t come across any convincing evidence that a large swath of the Haitian population thinks about Jean nearly as much as his American counterparts do. Key words: large swath. Please tell me in comments if I am wrong.

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