By Laiyin Yuan
Author: Chen Junxia
Translator: Laiyin Yuan
Published on: 01/14/2015
Source: Xinhua News Agency
Original text (in Chinese): http://news.xinhuanet.com/world/2015-01/14/c_1113996130.htm
This op-ed points out the potential negative outcome of imbalanced media coverage regarding Africa’s anti-terrorism, but it seems to blame only developed countries without interrogating the responsibilities of other stakeholders.
—- Laiyin Yuan (Translator)
In the beginning of the New Year, the terrorist attacks in Paris, France caught major attention from Western media, which not only allowed the world to sympathize and ruminate on this tragedy, but also left an extraordinary impression of the reporting capabilities of Western media.
Meanwhile, there were more terrorist attacks in Africa. Since January 3, the town of Baga, in Borno State, Nigeria, was under frequent attack by Boko Haram, resulting in the deaths of approximately 150 people, including the terrorists themselves. On January 5, at least five people died in an attack on a military camp in northern Mali. On January 10, a suicide bombing in a market in northeastern Nigeria killed at least 10 people…
The world’s major media outlets report on the terrorist attacks in France, while the attacks in Africa are suffer a severe lack of attention. Such a strong contrast makes Africans feel helpless.
Africa is suffering from more frequent terrorist attacks in recent years. The African Union’s statistics show that currently there are at least 16 active terrorist organizations on the African continent, and this number is increasing.
One major reason preventing the elimination of terrorism in Africa is that the African countries have limited capability to maintain their own stability without international assistance. However, the Western developed countries, which have significant impact on international affairs, have provided too-little attention and investment in Africa.
In the contemporary world, media is an important carrier of global news. Media coverage and reports have major impact in focusing international attention of news events. The imbalanced attention on different regions in the world has a causal relationship to unequal international development. Media should have a responsibility to pay closer attention on African anti-terrorism issues.
Just like Ebola, terrorism can jeopardize global security if left unchecked in Africa. Regarding this issue, Western media should keep in mind the lessons learned from their slow response towards the Ebola outbreak. If the West continue’s its indifference, it will suffer tragedy in the future.
About Xinhua News Agency (http://www.xinhuanet.com/)
“Xinhua News Agency is the state press agency of the People’s Republic of China. Xinhua is a ministry- level department subordinate to the State Council. It operates 107 foreign bureaus worldwide, and maintains 31 bureaus in China—one for each province, plus a military bureau. Xinhua is the sole channel for the distribution of important news related to the Communist Party and Chinese central government.” (Wikipedia)