n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Uprooting conventional wisdoms about Africa - : Africa-wide - continental overview

Volume 2013, Issue 08
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In-depth and consistent analysis of African conflict issues - as opposed to simple journalistic reports of African conflicts which, while usually reliable, do not scratch beneath the surface of events recorded - is so scarce and spotty in the Western media that conventional wisdoms rush in to fill the vacuum. Instant understanding is sought by a distracted world unwilling to commit the effort of thoughtful consideration to the subject of Africa. Consequently, a herd mentality amongst the world media and policymakers often forms around a nugget of meaning offered by any expert of an African topic who presents himself or herself to a camera in a time of need. Because there are so few expert analysts discussing African issues, one unchallenged voice can monopolise a discussion. The media passes on a point without a counterpoint because often there is no counterpoint available. Chances are that if a French analyst were to move to Mozambique and acquire some on-site expertise, at some point, when conflict breaks out in Maputo, the French press will turn to that well-situated analyst for an explanation. In the absence of anyone else, that analyst's report will determine European media views and the opinions of intelligentsia and government planners who consume media stories.

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