Fox News is the top rated channel in the United States (U.S.) but it is also broadcasted internationally in 40 countries. It can stand for an American point of view about news but also for a more global one. Fox News has an obvious impact on Americans. That is why, in order to monitor the way Africa is covered by an Anglo-Saxon Western News, I have chosen to focus on this source. My study will be based on articles released on Fox News website and transcripts of video programs. How is Fox News covering Africa? Is it providing stereotypes about this continent or is it giving an accurate representation of what Africa is? To answer these questions, I will study the form of the programs and articles but also the topics covered. First, let us have a background of what Fox News is. Then, the covering of Africa by this source will be examined.
Before monitoring Fox News, it must be said what kind of media it is. Fox News is a United States-based cable and satellite news channel available in the United States but also around the world. The slogans of the channel are We Report, You Decide, Fair and Balanced, The Most Powerful Name in News, We Put the World in Context. It has been launched in 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. In addition to the channel, Fox News also has a website (www.foxnews.com).
[...] Reading the transcripts of Fox News debates helps to understand better why Bush has been re-elected because it only deals with conflicts and insecurity. On the other hand, to analyse the articles released on Fox News website is a different exercise. It is more about factual breaking news than editorial views. These articles were all written by Associated Press journalists. I could not find any articles written by a Fox News correspondent in Africa. The fact that the top rated American channel does not send journalists in Africa demonstrates a complete lack of interest for what is going on in this continent. [...]
[...] Secondly, it cannot be an accurate view of what is going on in Africa because it does not give a voice to African people. There are no correspondents in Africa for these kinds of programs because Africa is not the main subject. Africa is not the main topic but rather a subsidiary subject. For instance, in The Big Story, the correspondent interviewed about the shootings of Al Qaeda members in Somalia is Catherine Herridge from Washington. She is more a specialist about CIA operations than about Africa and Somalia. [...]
[...] It does not provide an accurate view of Somalia as a country where people live. The viewers of this program must think that Somalia is a danger for their security if they believe in the simplistic explanation given by journalists. As far as sources are concerned, it is being unclear who is giving information to the correspondents. The use of sentences such as former lieutenant general, who is familiar with the Somali operation, told Fox . underlines a lack of transparency. [...]
[...] Fox News articles are pessimistic. They are mainly about conflicts, wars, accidents. For instance, the Darfurian crisis is in “free fall” what means that it is more than a disaster. It is not that what is going on is not serious but rather that nothing positive is being said. Moreover, it is mainly about giving an Islamic view of Africa. Fox News explains the American fear of Somalia as a “terrorist base” instead of a “country” to convey an image of Africa being an Islamic continent. [...]
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