The other day after putting up this post we received a comment from Sijui-which you can read below. Initially, when I read this comment I thought that it was about the need for African journalism to be the voice of the people, rather than the politicians. Actually though, with only a few short sentences, Sijui has managed to say something very enormous. Given Sijui's wise and insightful comments here, that is no surprise, of course-but nevertheless, I wanted to hat tip Sijui for indirectly providing some much needed direction for this series. So, my understanding of Sjui's comment is that even when you look at the dedicated business media that exists in Africa there are often noticable political overtones. I noticed this too, with a a few exceptions which thanks to Sijui, we will cover perhaps in the next post. I guess the reason that I did not really give this observation a second thought might be because I am getting a more filtered picture of the "on the ground" reality of media in Africa. I was talking to a very close acquaintance from Ghana not long ago about a similar topic. In passing conversation he mentioned that things in Ghana are good, especially in comparison to some of its neighbors, however, they are probably not as good as some of the media that he sees floating out from Ghana's press agencies into the international media organizations. Sijui's comment is different but somehow they feel a bit related. What they may share in common is the theme that the media emenating from Africa's homegrown agencies may have some information gaps. Up until this point I figured that given all of the negative press that a few of Africa's nations receive in international media, that this was to be expected, but underneath that notion is the subtle idea that the media in Africa is being directed in a certain direction. Hmmm? Please read Sijui's comment below and let me know what you think.
"Sorry but I am not yet ready to give 'African media' the pat on the back. In
many instances, they continue to be part of the problem.......they still
concentrate on getting their bread and butter from petty political sideshows and
gossip. Yes, improvements are being made and you are starting to see serious
business publications that provide cutting edge and up to date insights on the
private sector landscape of the continent (Business in Africa etc) however they
are still in the minority. Also the level of competence and professionalism
exhibited by the 'dedicated business journalists' is still rather low. Most
African media is still on the 'pro-democracy bandwagon' and the associated
swirling political currents...they have not moved on to the results of democracy
i.e. a flourishing private sector." from Sijui
Thanks Sijui for being my eyes and ears in your region of Africa...And also, Sijui, thanks for helping this series to stay on track!
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