By Niguse Sibuh
The future of Africans depends on how they are consolidated and devoted to realize the renaissance of the continent, which requires political commitment and integrated efforts. In this regard, the media has its own irreplaceable role. It needs to work hard to build the image of the continent that has long been distorted by the well experienced international media for different reasons.
Hon. Dr. Moha Dahir Farah, former president of Journalists for African Renaissance and a Sub-Saharan Informer Newspaper’s East African Senior Correspondent, argued that “There is no logic to put the western media and African media in one box, after all. The role of the media in developing and a developed nations could be, by no means, the same.
According to Moha, the western media needn’t shoulder a developmental journalism responsibility for their respective countries as these countries are already in a high status of development in all aspects.
For them, the main responsibility is to further sustain their luxurious life by strategically advocating their ideological interests which are based at the expense of the less developed world such as countries inAfrica. That is why most of the time they are busy with investigating and reporting the issues happened in the internal affairs of the developing world in a negative manner while in most cases close their eyes to the positive aspects of the subjects.
They come to Africaand write the bad things and mistakes that they see but they do not rush to write the good things, the development, the peace, the stability and all the challenges rather they still remained to be faultfinders.” Unlike these medias, the role of the media in the developing world should be to report activities in such a way that can improve the democratic, economic, political as well as social progress in their respective countries in particular and the continent in general.”
“African journalists have a big social responsibility of supporting all positive progresses in the continent,” Moha said, adding “As an African media we have to be proud of our own, what we have and we also have to be very responsible exactly of what we are doing because it is we who can develop the continent which no body else will come and develop for us.”
Indeed, strengthening the overall developmental activities in the continent demands a close cooperation between the African media and their respective governments which in turn leads them to work hand in hand for one basic developmental national as well as continental agenda.
Moha Dahir Farah is also said that the media in Africa need to be very careful and responsible. Because a little mistake made by media can lead into critical mistake in the politics. “We need to understand that whether what we write is destructive or constructive is always for our families, people and continent. We have to be patriotic to the development, stability and building of a democratic system of our continent, region and countries.” Indeed, it is time for African journalists to understand the demands of the societies in the continent as well as the general ideology of the developing Africa and act accordingly.
“We do not have to depend on the dictations of the western media and organizations who most of the time prefer to dig deep into and report the negative angles while we have the beautiful sides as well to dig to write and to talk about.” As a media is a weapon which can be used to promote a destructive or constructive mission, African journalists need to use it responsibly to promote the good image of the continent.
According to her, it is not because they lack the exposure to the positive progresses going on in the continent that the western backed medias most of the time report in a negative way but it is because they have to implement their mission. “Look at the development, the construction boom, the factories emerging, the local investors investing in their country, the diaspora coming back to their home country to be part of the development activities, the agricultural development, the export growth, the AU summit in Ethiopia for example are all the good things to write and talk about for a genuine media and journalist.
As African journalists, we need to focus on positive things because they will have positive impact on the lives of the people.”
As the African media has began to fully engage in disseminating optimistic reports that can assist the developmental stride African nations like Ethiopia are making, which of course is against the interest of the western, one can hear allegations from different international organizations that Africa is not open for the media, it violates press freedom and the like.
In this case, we the people who are working in the media must be alert enough and wise to understand the rational behind the accusations.
“Here we can take the case of journalists from Sweden who crossed the Ethiopian border illegally and sent into jail after they are found guilty of supporting terrorists. Different international bodies are still talking about them that they are a media personality, they have to be released and so on. But whether they are a media personality, a diplomat or politician and make a mistake they cannot be above the law. These interest groups for their own hidden mission are still crying but they never tried even to investigate why they were arrested, what are the rules and regulations of the country in this regard, what were they doing and the like.
So, it is too late for the African media to develop the confidence, capacity and patriotic behavior to report in the way that they can satisfy the basic and true demands of the continent and its people which are overstated by the western propaganda. In the side line of the economic, political and social progresses, there are also challenging malpractices such as corruption, good governance problems, backwardness and the like which needs due attention of the media. These development bottlenecks need to be addressed by the African media in a constructive manner as devising local solutions for local problems is instrumental to have a truly independent and prosperous continent where its citizens enjoy luxurious and stable life as what the developed world is experiencing now. It is time to coordinate effort to say no for external intervention and build the sense ofAfrica for Africans by Africans which is a prerequisite to insure African renaissance in all aspects.