, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
I am all in favour of this #DeportKimiko tag, not for the immediate catharsis it provides to an angry public, but because it highlights a greater issue. I have always said that the ecosystem of global media sending foreign press to "cover Africa" is a dangerous one.
It is not an ecosystem that was founded on care for Africa or Africans, but an anthropological and ethnographic interest in reporting to the world about the steamy jungles and the curious habits of the savages.
The architecture of that ethnographic framework remains.
Photojournalism prizes and their troubling history of award choices only make that framework worse, making photojournalists work harder and harder to get "that shocking image that moves the world".
The end result is you have a large proportion of foreign photojournalists - with no other qualification other than ownership of a camera - travelling around Africa and the Middle East, looking for photo-ops in every situation where there is anguish or disease or shocking poverty.
This framework is how a Japanese, Portuguese-Irish American, French, tweet-deleting self-declared 'Citizen of Nowhere' can be appointed East Africa Bureau Chief by the #NewYorkTimes. Where are the receipts? What are the qualifications?
And WHY - in 2019 when cameras and the Internet and Africans-who-know-English are relatively pervasive - do foreign media companies STILL need foreign correspondents? Is the argument that African photojournalists still haven't reached the global standards of editorial quality?
Or that rather than just hire a local person who has much more local context, it is somehow cheaper to fly a foreigner into a country, pay for a work-permit and residence and car? I find either of those arguments VERY hard to believe.
Someone teach me, please.
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