Sunday, 15 November 2015

COMMENTARY: The Uncaring Western Media and Terrorism. Not Really.

Firstly: I am proudly South African (proud of the heritage, beauty and people of my country – not proud of the corruption and mismanagement of my country) and so, please allow me to speak from another country’s perspective.
Secondly: Please see this article before you feel the need to tell me that South Africa is no longer my business.

I see a lot of my fellow South African's on Facebook becoming upset over the "World" or “Western” media's non reaction to the events happening in Africa and particularly in South Africa. (PS. Why has the northern hemisphere and Australia become known as “Western” - They are NORTHERN and SOUTHERN, not WESTERN, and Western has become another word for “White” which is also incorrect of these areas on our globe.)

Please get out a pen and paper and write a letter of thanks to Zuma, there is very little news coming OUT of South Africa. The only way I find out what is going on, is because I had 'liked' the local papers while living in SA and so, see them in my newsfeed. And the news is very seldom positive (so ask yourselves: Why do expats always comment negatively – when all they see is ‘the worst’ when they read down their timeline?)

In the mainstream media internationally, each country has their own problems, their own news, their own murders and car crashes, their own natural disasters. The newspapers are full.

The reason the Paris attacks have gone "Viral" is because of the Journalists and Foreign Correspondents in France - they have been active in sending out articles globally. It is something that has to be physically ‘done’ . Now, in South Africa there was a law passed - if I am correct - that placed a very scary and heavy burden on Journalists in SA. There is the threat of jail time for any articles that would possibly expose corruption etc. etc. So perhaps it is these restrictions that hamper international news sharing – or it leaves international papers wondering if they are being fed propaganda (when they receive positive news).

There are also many news types that are not allowed to be seen (I can't remember what the word for that is) for example there are 45 murders per DAY in South Africa - why are they not mentioned in the news every day with shock and outrage? Why is the media quiet? There have been approx 4000 Farm "multiple" Murders documented - so there have been 4000 families wiped out.

Zero coverage.
Apart from a few zealous Farm Murder websites.
And Carte Blanch that time.

Zero outrage.
Apart from Steve and his 1 million.

The number of rapes of South African women is also ridiculously high - the media don't even mention it. All of those beautiful resilient African ladies broken and shamed, inpregnated and infected. Imagine the sheer scale of reporting papers would have to do if they had to commit to mentioning each case?
There is an assault on ALL South Africans, physically in some cases, psychologically in many cases, on a daily basis. Each cultural group has their own pressures and struggles - but I am telling you - the world does not hear about you, nor see you.
Not often.

And that is not the fault of the "World" or “Western” media - South African journos need to stand up, draw on the strength and anger that spurred on the Journo’s who fought against Apartheid, and start building connections and networks with the larger papers internationally – building trust and relationship with Editors and Newsmakers - South Africa needs to take responsibility for spreading it's own news outside of it's borders.

Remember the Who's in Whoville who had to all shout to be heard? "We're here! We're here!" - South Africa is WORTHY of attention.  

I have heard of South Africa ONCE in 6 months - and it was on an art radio station - and the DJ had recorded it from Facebook, Zuma was speaking in isiZulu and the DJ offered no translation. Why? I can tell you now – it’s not because no one is interested. There’s just no news coming through. I have purposefully spoken to as many people as possible about South Africa, explaining its beauty and its sadness – only one person had heard of South Africa.
Heard of it.
She knew South Africans living in Sydney.
She had healthy respect for us as a nation.

I have seen images of famous land marks across the world lit up in blue white and red - where is the Cradle of mankind lit up? The Durban stadium or city hall? Table Mountain? South Africa doesn't reach out in solidarity or share images of such solidarity with world media - so why are people surprised when there is no such reciprocation?
A way to get attention is to reach out and DO something. The world looked at us during 2010 and saw a shining happy place, that image has remained in their psyche.

I see people online saying “Why is Paris getting so much attention?” and I say this – again, it’s about word getting OUT from those affected countries, landing in the right persons inbox or landline or cellphone messages, it’s about a relationship between Journos and News providers. What you are seeing is not a massive reaction to “White people being killed” it’s a fantastic display of an efficient news distribution team – which, done correctly as it has been done – mobilizes the masses. It’s phenomenal. It’s evidence of HOW powerful online media is – how quickly did our facebook profile photos turn rainbow earlier? How quickly did they turn red, white and blue? That is evidence of the power of communication.
There are plenty of articles about the other Terrorist bombings and attacks, If you google the word “Terror attacks 2015” you will see a host of articles covering the different nations – bear in mind that google is also programmed to show you the most read news first, it’s an anti-racial computerized program and not at all personal - so don’t post little “rants” on Facebook accusing the world of being “Western Oriented” – it’s bull.
Just pure bull.

And so, I will not be putting any filter of any flag or colour over my Facebook profile picture. Simply because it has become a tit-for-tat ridiculous affair. 

I would say #RantOver but then I’d have to punch myself in the face.

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