Western papers sensationalize dead Africans
The New Times
Not only Kenyans, but all Africans, should be “livid” at Western media coverage of last week’s terrorist attack in Nairobi, said The New Times. Gunmen from the Somalia-based jihadist group al Shabab rampaged through a luxury hotel complex of offices and restaurants, shooting at random, leaving 21 people dead. Grieving Kenyans woke the next day to see photos of the murdered, “slumped on restaurant tables,” on the website of The New York Times. Many took to social media to complain of the paper’s insensitivity and to call for the paper’s East Africa bureau chief, Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, to be deported. Rather than apologizing, the paper tried to “justify the unjustifiable,” by saying the editors “believe it is important to give our readers a clear picture of the horror of an attack like this.” Really? American school shootings routinely leave scenes of horror, with the bloodied bodies of children strewn across classrooms, yet the Times never shows those. Only dead Africans, apparently, should be used to educate. Worse than the “double standard,” though, is the tone of the coverage. By including so many gruesome photos, the paper “was in a way glorifying the success of the terror attack and fueling future attacks.” Shame on The New York Times.