The New Media Battle between the Western and Pan Africans Media
African writers and media personnel across the continent and the diaspora are cooperating to lend a hand to each other and rebrand the image of Africa, which has suffered media pro.
Among other reasons, this is because, for many centuries, hunger, war, lack of basic human necessities, lack of innovation, and leadership crises, among other undesirable issues, continue to characterize the image of the continent transversely in the Western media.
The continuous biases of the Western media in reporting about the continent is therefore evident. However, this is not to say the biased media does not at all have some score of points in their one-sided depiction of the people of a continent that deserves better lives and leadership.
The Western media in reporting about Africa’s affairs usually base their reports and interpretations on the conditions of their social realities or milieus as opposed to the realities of the African societies. Consequently, they take very little interest and account for the specific conditions, culture, norms, and values of the various African societies.
Equally, and preferably for the Western media, “positive news” from the continent of Africa is NOT NEWS for them as they sought to maintain the comparative narratives that the continent and its people are retarded. Western journalists who are positioned throughout the continent have been described as vultures hunting for carcass between folks of healthy sheep. There is a continuous manifestation of unparalleled eagerness by these journalists for “bad news” from the continent. In several instances, governments on the continent have declared journalists persona non grata for their continued attempts to either paint the country, its leadership as otherwise, or draw some imaginary events all in their effort to obtain “negative news” from the continent. This has caused economic losses to the continent by making it less viable for fair Foreign Direct Investments. The narration that Africa is poor and needs rescue spurs the number of charity organizations who often pave the way for exploitation of Africa’s resources.
The Western media does not pay attention to the attributable facts to the alleged “backwardness” of the continent, especially the atrocities of European Powers against Africans during the period in which they interrupted the progress of the continent in both the slave trade and colonial enterprise.
The same Western media finds every delight in mispresenting Africa as “a country.” Thus, a single negative incident in the remotest corner of the continent will usually see every country painted with the same brush. Take, for example, Ebola was only in three countries in Africa in 2013- 2016. Still, the entire continent economically suffered because the Western media misrepresented the reality of the outbreak a total contrast of the Zika virus outbreak in Europe and South America.
Equally, true of the western media and without marking reference to the countless incidence is their agenda of pervading the white superiority complex. News of Black progress is either twisted or give negligible attention.
Evidently, the Western media remains one of the most effective tools for depicting Western dominance against Africa. The continued irrational insistence of the West that Africa will only evolve on the values and ‘form’ imposed on them, mostly contrary to the wishes of the African people, is championed mainly by the Western media.
The Reaction of Pan Africans
Freetown’s celebrated journalist Timothy Bankole once argued that “the task of the media is to present the truth always and void of prejudice or personal fraud. It is not the business of the media to deliberately poison the minds of the readers with literal propaganda.” Something that the Western media have failed to observe of many years and if not immediately confronted, the damage may not be redeemable.
The above-outlined facts have brought Pan Africans across the world who maintain that Africa must be left to follow her historical path and be treated fairly by the media. There is a need for Africans to establish their own media outlets to confront the Western dominance of the media and counter the narratives that are contracting to the realities about the continent that they (Western media) continuously spread.
The new wave of Pan African media outlets, such as EYEGAMBIA among others, therefore no more allowed the western media outlets to strategically spread and dominate the media with biased narratives about Africa especially on social media. Additionally, western media outlets are the conduits through which western ideologies such as Liberalism are often promoted and such concepts are dichotomy to Africa’s own social and philosophical ideology of ‘ubuntu’.
Censorship of Pan African Media Outlets
Manifestly, there are increasing indications that the influence of Pan African media outlets is gaining momentum. However, social media platforms continue to censure Pan Africa media outlets that are different from those in the West. In several instances, Pan African media outlets such as this medium are censured for the same story that Western Media can publish without the same treatment. Stories or videos that depict Western atrocities, especially crimes committed in Africa during the colonial period, receive more censorship.