Magazine article Nieman Reports

International Journalism

Magazine article Nieman Reports

International Journalism

Article excerpt

Africa is the focus of this issue's international journalism section. It is a continent too often ignored by Western media and a place where in too many countries those who are journalists confront challenges in their work that their U.S. peers could not even imagine. In several African nations, intimidation and legal confrontations with government officials are common forms of journalistic censure; for some reporters, torture and imprisonment are a consequence of their job.

From South Africa, Mathatha Tsedu ('97 NF), deputy editor of The Star in Johannesburg, explores the transitory terrain that black journalists now inhabit as they are called upon to report on the nation's black government. At a time when the government-appointed Human Rights Commission has been holding contentious hearings about racism in the media, Tsedu argues that the uppermost challenge for black journalists rests within each of them. "The challenge is to decide on what is right and wrong and sometimes national priorities might interfere with what ordinarily would be good journalism," Tsedu writes. Dennis Cruywagen ('00 NF), former deputy editor of Pretoria News, reviews Benjamin Pogrund's book, "War of Words: Memoir of a South African Journalist," and reminds us of the journalistic courage displayed by some white reporters during South Africa's apartheid era.

From Zimbabwe come two stories describing a nation where the independent press is struggling mightily to survive. …

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