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The Problem With Western Media: Africa’s Negative Coverage and False Generalizations

Almost a month ago, Somalia faced the deadliest attack that ever occurred on homeland. Of course, being that it is a black, Muslim country, nobody seemed to actually care about the well-being of the people of Somalia, but rather about the religious/political aspect of it.

Western media has always shown Africa to be a third-world country ridden with poverty and incurable diseases. Western media views Africa in a negative narrative and that is harmful. The visualization and images of well-paved roads, skyscrapers, malls and grocery stores are not present in westerners’ minds, which is incredibly ignorant. The media is more focused on human-interest-entertaining stories rather than actually emotional, unbiased stories.

We pay attention to deadly attacks happening in Europe or the U.S., but very little to attacks and deaths in POC countries unfortunately. It’s been proven that the negative portrayal of Africa affected the economy, tourism and investments. This kind of untrue and opposing portrayal is actually driving out businesses and tourists from ever going to Africa. It just justifies the ignorance and racism that has been embedded deeply in western society for centuries.

Considering that most of the world’s resources comes from Africa, it’s shocking that white countries don’t do well in providing accurate news-covering and support about Africa. Reinforcing the ‘poor and struggling’ African narrative isn’t gonna benefit black people at all. Supplementing poor generalizations and stereotypes about Africans and Africa, in general, is inherently racist. That’s why it’s up to Africans and black people in general to change the status quo and make our own positive narratives and educate western society.

It’s no doubt that some African countries are still developing. The problem is that Western media and society continues to show the negative parts of Africa rather than showing the best parts often. We should stop with the false stereotypes and generalizations and continue to erase Western mindsets and bias on Africa.

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Ilhan Adan
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Ilhan Adan is a proud 17-year-old activist. She has a passion for writing & desires to get her voice out to the world. She is a Somali-American Muslim. She's very interested in psychological thrillers. Ilhan is also a major comic book fanatic. Find her in your local coffee shop and library.

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