The Unseen Complexity Of Foreign Nations

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 13 2012 @ 9:34am


by Zack Beauchamp

Richard Dowden bashes simplistic media treatments of African countries:

For the past ten years many African countries have been growing at rates we in the West can only dream about – thanks largely to an emerging middle class, mobile phones and China’s demand for its raw materials. Now our businesses are following the Chinese into Africa looking for its fabled wealth. Africa is now a place for investment. … [Africa] can be both poor and disease-ridden and rich and dynamic at the same time, sometimes in the same village. To be a proper news story and fit into the outdated news agenda, it has to be one or the other.

Jack McDonald doesn't see anything special here:

[R]eally, when we think about it, we tend to get a bad picture of the entire outside world.

… I think, on balance, the world as presented by the mainstream media is biased against anywhere outside our own borders. If Africans happen to think their presentation in the British mainstream media is bad, please spare a thought for Argentina, who make the news in relation to the Falklands and little else, with maybe a blip when they defaulted on their debts almost a decade ago. That’s a country of about 40 million people, and the only thing we really care about is their intentions towards a rock in the south Atlantic.

(Chart from The Economist.)