Home / News / 🇪🇹 🇰🇪 How do Western media get Africa wrong? | The Stream

🇪🇹 🇰🇪 How do Western media get Africa wrong? | The Stream



The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 disaster has not only sparked conversations about aviation safety, but prompted a furious debate over how Western media outlets covered it. Some observers, such as The Atlantic’s Hannah Giorgis, noted the tragedy was reported unevenly, focusing more “on non-African passengers and organisations.” This despite the fact that nine Ethiopians and 32 Kenyans were killed – the most victims from any nation.

Kenyan writer and political cartoonist Patrick Gathara added that media organisations forget there is no such thing as an “African story”, saying that any effort to compress the lives and experiences of millions of Africans and thousands of cultures “will always say more about the prejudices and laziness of the journalist than about his subjects.”

Many felt that prejudice was on display when one international news anchor erroneously stated that Africa’s most successful airline had a “poor safety record.”

So how does coverage of the crash fit within a broader Western media narrative that often covers the continent using racist and colonialist tropes? We ask a panel of east Africans.

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21 comments

  1. Thank you for watching, everybody. More from The Stream here: aljazeera.com/thestream

  2. Why the hell does it matter who or what the color of their skin was. They are dead. And instead of focusing on the families, the dead and the investigation into the crash, here comes the new to make it about race.

  3. It is the duty of all people of this world to fight imperialism. if you are not fighting it you are part of the problem! imperialists have used media to do propaganda for a very long time now.

  4. Both Boeing and FAA likely knew, before Lion Air crash, that the Max 8 was unsafe and would never be certified without some kind of MCAS.

    Great Pilot Rep! Pilots need to be a part of plane certifications.

    Heard that MCAS was never a part of original 737 Max 8 design and production…that the MCAS was a last minute quick fix add on at the end of certification process since FAA approval was not likely due to known flaw that new heavier and front loaded engines could unpredictably cause excessive angle of attack on take off which potentially could cause a stall and contact with the terrain.

    MCAS is not an automated pilot…but rather a perpetual “Background system” which was designed to undetectably, in seconds, tilt nose downward to prevent a stall and crash.

    MCAS behaves much like mobile phone background data that is still running when you turn off your phone.

    As quickly as Pilots used two trim switches to turn off the MCAS that wrongly detected a stall…MCAS as quickly overrode pilot turnoff and turned itself back on …a cycle that continued until the plane hit the terrain.

    Hence the graphic up and down struggle of pilots pointing the nose up and MCAS pointing the nose down… the pilot turning off MCAS with two switches, to point nose up…then MCAS’ overriding pilot…turning itself back on to point the nose down again. The Pilots never had a chance…. with MCAS quickly reversing pilot actions.

    Knowingly creating design parameters, <that added more seats, lower fuel costs to compete with the Air bus>…parameters that would ultimately compromise crew and passengers safety is not only unethical, but also, criminal.

    FAA gets some points for insisting that Boeing provide an MCAS as a condition of Max 8 being
    certified as flight worthy. It’s likely safe to speculate that FAA and Boeing had to know that the Max 8 could not fly without MCAS…or else why would they have added MCAS after plane production was completed?

    Short answer…Boeing had built an unsafe plane in the name of austerity.

    Where FAA dropped the ball was allowing Boing to, in a last ditch effort to certify Max 8…add MCAS as a software patch instead of insisting that Boeing go back to the drawing board to reconfigure optimum integration of a MCAS or the option of starting over to reconfigure Max 8 engine size and placement in a way that eliminate the angle of attack problem so that a MCAS would not be needed.

    The Boeing 737 NG did not need an MCAS and has a great safety record.

  5. Stop it just stop it!! They can say whatever they want with their media.

  6. Aljezera is one of the media who mistreated Africa and African people.

  7. In the US all we're going to get about the crash are problems with the airplane or the pilots. But I think that all of this is hiding the fact that there were people connected to the United Nations on that flight. Why is that subject matter being diverted from the people? Because it doesn't guide people to think about the possibility of 'sabotage' given the UN connection and "America's" negative attitude to both the UN and the ICC. Crimes against humanity and War crimes ; When we think on a level of trusting what is coming out of corporate American media, and what a US white-supremacist regime is capable of, it is easy for people to be swayed, distracted, deceived, and to miss the facts of a real story.

  8. Always stupid whi.. Men do this all the time

  9. Why would anyone expect American coverage of a plane crash in Africa to emphasize anything but American deaths? And there were none, so the US media is not going to prioritize the story. This was a tragedy that happened on the African continent. It's up to African news agencies — & Ethiopian stations/newspapers esp. — to take the lead in reporting on the crash. That being said, Americans know that Africa is a continent with more than 50 nations. But if a plane crashes in Ohio, the foreign press will report it as "A plane crashed in America" & not lead with the specific state where the plane went down. It's not a dis to Ethiopians for the US news services to have reported this an a plane crash in Africa.

  10. I was shocked when I saw the western media talking abut the crash but only abut there people I don't know what did happen to them but Black life matter am from Ethiopia

  11. As your commentators say, there is a need for us to tell our own story. No one is able to do that the way we are able to. #AfricanCoverage #TellOurOwnStories #SayTheirNames

  12. Scrolling through the comments … I don't particularly see any one sort of race or national identity on a plane I see human lives that ended. Reaching to see where there from and so on is coming from a place of sentiment and that's sweet but… This is a logistics issue, and an aerial tragedy. The most important part is the company responsible i.e. Boeing inc. be held responsible and ensure this never happens again as it is the 2nd time with the same aircraft model. Which is sold all over the world, from an international stand point it's a crisis… Stories of mourning from a global perspective should they be chosen to share should be relative to where the victims are from and posted to local news agencies if they're even available. Al Jazeera is pretty much the only place I ever see African news… I study international relations so I enjoy watching. Cheers🍻☪

  13. I lived in Morocco 🇲🇦 Casablanca city Lahraouyine there even can not wash there is no tap in the house with water people bring waterл home the internet is slow and expensive to cook food you need to buy a gas bottle on the street and bring it into the house and connect something to cook everywhere cockroaches and mice and near the dump and stench everywhere

  14. CONDOLANCES TO ALL REST IN PEACE. AFRICA HOLD STRONG..GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!!!!

  15. It is incredible how you create a race problem out of some stupid headlines. You are the real racists because you use the tragety of these poor victims to make you black people look pressed and as victims of racism, where there is no racism at all in this case. SHAME ON YOU ALJAZEERA and your racist interview partners for pushing a racist agenda instead of doing real journalism !!!!!!

  16. Bushshit bombed Al Jazeera station by mistake to stop Jihadist narratives.

  17. This is the age of information, represent yourself.

  18. The same way So call Africa get's it's false Big Lie information by it's own sale out Black race people who help the other 2 race's of the world put out Negative News into the world just to keep the world living on the wrong path not being as one as over the earth and sharing it together as one which would be taking care of the earth so you can go to heaven to be with the Creator because to do other than that you will go to the Hell Fire for saleing and oppressing the Creator creation So all Nation's must come together and do away with these old Slavery Plantation system's and programs in the land on earth that was put and left in place by evil men and weman before all of our time on this earth So what this last generation of people on this earth have to do is do away with these old colonize European system's in all 3 race's of the world by coming together and arrest those who do not because if not this old sick curse ass shit will be left on the kid's that we all layed down and fuck and made which is not true love to leave these old system's that come from invaders and criminals who did not get married into the Nation they wanted to become apart of and that's why they was call invaders of someone else Native land out the 3 race's of the world and even sale outs because they was doing like the one's today are Trading off someone love from their family that they say are missing but along they know where they are at because some of them are even lock up in houses all over the world and scattered all over the world which are someone love one in someone family out the 3 race's of the world, and that's why all on earth must come together and put a stop to it because it is destroying the Creator creation and family's all over the world under that fake ass Magic Trick Box ass Money system's and programs scattered through the Native people land's all over this earth out of the 3 race's of the world and all must stand together on earth out the 3 race's of the world and put a stop to it and do away with these old colonize invading system's and stop breaking boundaries between one another and get married into the Nation you want to become apart of out the 3 race's of the world which is a beautiful thing all the beautiful colors of the Creator creation because I love all flavors! Smile? Kill spreading false lies and news, spread the good news to keep all on earth together as one connected as one in bond and married to the Creator only as number 1, and stop putting a price on his creation and valuing it over your soul's which will land you into the Hell Fire as a enemy to the Creator and his creation, and it makes you the evil one = devil = Satan = Jinn in person living among all of us on earth, and that's why all must come together and do away with it because it can't never bring no good to no one on earth but only to those that keep building it and doing the work of evil against all of us on earth, and are the true enemy to all the Creator creation, and the Creator is on his way to put a stop to it if all on earth don't come together and do away with it soon soon soon and you will go to the Hell Fire with the evil spirits in the evil one's of his creation So wake up world and don't let's the evil spirits in them take all down with them into the Hell Fire because you know if the demons haven't took over you yet that you can't beat all this power you see the Creator do before our eyes on earth so come on world get it right for the next to come after us who we say we all love which is a Big Lie until we come back together and do away with this old shit that should have been done away with long time ago Printing that curse ass Magic Trick Box Jack Ass devil Money and saleing the Creator creation, So Stop the B.S. A.S.A.P. because the Creator is on his way, and who want to get punish by the Creator Power? I don't!!!!!! AZIZ aka Z

  19. This muslim fucks are everywhere

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