Friday, August 08, 2014

Where's the media when they are needed?

While Voice of America struggles with a discussion about whether it is still relevant, the answer seems to be staring them in the face.

VOA has always claimed to understand the information needs of African audiences?  So where are the special extended broadcasts WITH their partner stations to explain in as many languages as relevant why Ebola is so dangerous and what is being done to stop its spread. Al Jazeera has done some of the best reporting so far, but remember that TV in English doesn't reach those affected in West Africa. Radio is by far the most accessed medium in this area.

The specialists in this AJ documentary all conclude that information is as important as medical assistance in this case. But WHO is not a storyteller. And it doesn't speak local African languages.

To me, this could have been international broadcasting's finest hour. Instead VOA is just relaying Obama speeches and playing music. No context when it is needed.

People will remember the station that saved their life or those of love-ones. It is news you can use. And we keep forgetting that rumours kill

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