The White Man’s Burden: Newspaper Edition!
Recently, Geography has caught my interest as a subject for discussion. This past week my class discussed sub-Saharan Africa and how Africa is often perceived in the media. Our assignment in class was to bring in an article that was a positive news story in the region. As you can imagine, it was difficult to come by. Many of the articles had to deal with drought coming to an end or an end of a civil war in a tribal region in a torn country. Article after article there was a consensus as to what every story dealt with: bad things coming to an end. Instead of good just happening in Africa, any positive news was simply news that was made “not negative.”
The distinction made with the articles made me think of Rudyard Kipling and the White Man’s Burden. Western media has to this day taken, in my opinion, a very elitest view to reporting on Africa. Because of tribalism and political conflict, sub-Saharan Africa has always fallen under the unjustified scope of primitivism and consistently to this day has found itself improperly represented as such.
The public is very unaware about sub-Saharan Africa’s progress into the 21st century. Such as activists using social media to bring change to political corruption: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/19/business/corruption-africa-technology/?hpt=ibu_t5
If anything, sub-Saharan Africa is moving ahead in society and should be recognized for this progress. This starts with the media.