I am forever annoyed by the way stories told about Africa and Africans are framed. We’ve come so far but we’re still acting like the continent is nothing but a giant country of bad news and bad decisions and it is always frustrating to me.
History was made yesterday when for the first time ever, a Nigerian incumbent president lost in an election. Muhammadu Buhari won over Goodluck Jonathan, and it showed the power of citizens who came out in record numbers to let their voices be heard. We know that President-elect Buhari has real work to do but it was such a victory for democracy.
So today, there was an article on The Root by Charles D. Ellison with the headline: “Who won the Nigerian Election? Maybe Boko Haram” and I was offended by it. So were other Nigerians in my Facebook newsfeeds. I went on Twitter to talk about it and ended up in an exchange with the writer, who was in no place to listen to my critiques.
Just… see below. If you can’t view the tweets, check them out on Storify.
By the way, I am not posting this as a call to action for y’all to send Charles’ mentions into shambles. The conversation has been had (and I doubt he learned anything. He was standing wrong and very strong). The Root is a site I respect, have written for and read regularly. I am disappointed that the piece showed up there but I am also not posting this to call for boycotts or nothing. This is a conversation I want to bring to your attention because it’s representative of a lot of issues I have with media reporting on Africa.
I asked my people on Facebook and Twitter for websites that report well on things that are happening on the African continent. Check these out:
Edit: The title of Charles’ piece has now been changed to: “Will the New Nigerian President Do Any Better in Suppressing Boko Haram?” Much better.