INTERNATIONAL NEWS COVERAGE OF INSECURITY AND HUMAN SUFFERING IN AFRICA’S GREAT LAKES REGION

Philip Onguny

Abstract


This article examines news coverage of insecurity and human suffering in Africa’s Great Lakes region. Drawing on news reports collected through LexisNexis, it discusses how international news reports use place differences to give prominence to certain events in the region, making them key referents of human insecurity and suffering. The discussion is guided by the assumption that, “images are, on the one hand, reproductions, but they have a second meaning as well: a mental picture of something not real or present” (Gamson et al., 1992, p. 374). To highlight how stereotypical images of Africa still dominate international news reports, with hard-line opinions and “frame-fit” inscriptions, the article focuses on image representations and conveyed meanings rather than factual inferences. Overall, the events discussed should be read as part of the broader narratives feeding into the stereotypical image of Africa as an insecure place, marred by trauma and horror. 


Keywords


Human insecurity, human suffering, mass media, news coverage, East Africa, Africa’s Great Lakes region

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17349/jmc117407

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