African Media has been blamed for joining forces with the foreign news agencies to portray the negative image of the continent and other parts of the globe. Over the years, Africa`s image has been presented in the western media as a ‘dark continent’ where hunger, poverty, and corruption are pervasive. The western media has chosen to maintain its centuries-old representation of Africa despite recent political and economic growth and development in the continent
However, a research conducted by the Institute of Africa Media Monitoring Intelligence and Advocacy (IAMMIA-Africa) revealed that media in Africa continue to focus on reporting negative stories about the continent to the western world instead of highlighting the good aspect of Africa.
The research was aimed at uncovering the type of news stories both African and foreign media report about the continent and how they impact on the continent negatively for the past two years. As a result, news stories published by newspapers in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda were sampled.
Out of two hundred and twenty-nine (229) news stories reported about the continent by the media, one hundred and twenty-one (121) stories representing 53% portrayed the negative image of the continent , 86 stories representing 37% portrayed Africa`s image positively, whiles 22(10%) of the news stories were neutral to the continent.
It revealed terrorism as the most reported news story in the top ten news categories on the continent. Categories Other news stories such as politics recorded 16%, Ebola 5%, War 6%, Xenophobia 6%, Conflict 15%, Crime 5%, Sports 5% and Social Justice 5%.
The research also saw the British Broadcasting Cooperation (BBC) as the lead news agency reporting negatively about Africa.
Commenting on findings of the research, the Executive Director of IAMMIA-Africa, Dr. Messan Mawugbe blamed the African media for concentrating more on the negative side of the continent and neglecting on the positive aspects.
He described how African media reports on issues about the Continent as an affront which continues to derail development in the area. “Most often we don’t pay much attention to how our own media report on issues about the continent, but it is affecting us negatively; many western investors shun Africa as a result of these reports. He lamented
IAMMIA-Africa is a leading media monitoring intelligent gathering and advocacy NGO in Africa which currently operates in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa Kenya and Cameroon among others.
By Abdul-Fatawu Adam Wunizoya, Adenta-Accra