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What do African journalists think of how protests are covered in the US?


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Jonathan R

Journalists in many African countries are used to covering police violence against protesters (never mind repression against journalists themselves). So it has been novel for us to see how our counterparts in the US have been covering protests there as well as police violence.

Aside from the many jokes we may make about reporting in America the way many foreign correspondents report on Africa (eg "security forces aligned to the ruling Republican Party beat back opposition supporters who were protesting against Donald Trump, a Big Man president") there are some interesting differences. IJNET has a fascinating piece talking to Kenyan journalists about their observations

The first key point is that even though journalism is under financial pressure in the US, much as it is everywhere, it is still very well resourced compared with many African newsrooms. As Joseph Muraya told IJNET:  “Journalists in the U.S. provided the much-needed oxygen for the protests to thrive, and gave it enough prominence,” he said. “I saw consistency, but I also well-equipped scribes going out there and doing their job, something that remains a challenge in Kenya.”

But there are also useful lessons including getting a greater diversity of sources and voices into stories, sharing information more (something that Journalists.Africa is trying to provide a platform to do) and keeping a story moving. 

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