The image of Africa in Ghana’s press – The Influence of International News Agencies
Michael Yao Wodui Serwornoo
THE IMAGE OF AFRICA IN GHANA’S PRESS – THE INFLUENCE OF INTERNATIONAL NEWS AGENCIES
Media coverage of Africa has historically been analysed using different approaches and from the vantage point of different geographical locations.
Academic literature of the late 1970s and 80s highlights the negativity and bias on the part of developed nations not only in the way they write about Africa but also regarding their control of international news flow due to the growing influence of a hegemonic private press (Nordenstreng, 2012;
Sreberny-Mohammadi, 1997; Hawk, 1992; Sreberny, 1985; Stevenson and Shaw, 1984; Nordenstreng and Schiller, 1979; Galtung, 1971; Galtung and Ruge, 1965).
This literature seems to suggest that a socially constructed discourse about Africa, which has come to be known as Afro-pessimism, has either improved in the wake of Africa rising discourse (Bunce, Franks and Paterson, 2017, Nothias, 2015; Ojo, 2014) or is in fact a non-existent myth (Scott, 2015).
Indeed, recent publications argue that the claim of negative representation has no validity beyond certain few Western countries (Scott, 2017; Obijiofor and MacKinnon, 2016).
New studies continue to adduce empirical evidence of Africa’s negative portrayal in the US elite press and of how this coverage spreads around the world (Gruley and Duvall, 2012).
In this book, I trace these debates by examining the nature of the continent’s coverage in the Ghanaian press with a focus on the dominant themes of representation, subject matter and tone of the coverage.
I will also offer explanations for Africa’s depiction in the press by journalists and editors, their newsroom exigencies and the world beyond these two contexts.