the pity party
In my last post, I asked, "If you took all the stories about African countries in American newspapers and removed those about poverty, disease, and war, I wonder what would be left?"
Ryan Briggs has an answer for the New York Times. I think it shows that the vast majority of their coverage is the story of general misery. Why? Some of it is valid. There is a lot of poverty, disease, and, unfortunately, war on the continent.
But the pity party is only part of the thousands of stories on the continent. It's unfortunate that a journalist can't get a headline in the NYT when he or she writes about women's cooperative associations or churches that take over the management of schools in order to keep them open or what it's like to dance under the Congolese stars until all hours of the night.
There are aspects of African states that are beautiful and peaceful and wonderful. There are people who make extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of others. But they don't usually make headlines.