Tags: 60 minutes | coverage | Africa | criticized

'60 Minutes' Blasted for Treating Blacks as Victims in Africa Coverage

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 09:08 PM

More than 150 writers and professors from across the United States sent a letter to "60 Minutes" Executive Producer Jeff Fager Wednesday blasting the CBS News program for what it terms "frequent and recurring" misrepresentation of events in Africa, Politico reported.

The letter, written by former New York Times foreign correspondent Howard French, alleges that "'60 Minutes' has managed, quite extraordinarily, to render people of black African ancestry voiceless and all but invisible."

French's primary example was Lara Logan's reporting on the Ebola crisis. "In that broadcast, Africans were reduced to the role of silent victims," he wrote.

Liberians not only died from Ebola, "but many of them contributed bravely to the fight against the disease, including doctors, nurses and other caregivers, some of whom gave their lives to this effort."

Despite this, the "only people heard on the air were white foreigners who had come to Liberia to contribute to the fight against the disease," wrote French, a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Africans "constituted what might be called a scenery of misery: people whose thoughts, experiences and actions were treated as if totally without interest," French added.

"Liberians were shown within easy speaking range of Logan, including some Liberians whom she spoke about, and yet not a single Liberian was quoted in any capacity."

French also criticized two segments "featuring white people who have made it their mission to rescue African wildlife." Black Africans, he wrote, "make no substantial appearance in either of these reports, and no sense whatsoever is given of the countries visited, South Africa and Gabon."

CBS said in a statement Wednesday that it is "proud of its coverage of Africa and has received considerable recognition for it."

CBS said it has reached out to French to invite him to discuss the issue further and looks forward to meeting with him, Politico reported.

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More than 150 writers and professors from across the United States sent a letter to 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager Wednesday blasting the CBS News program for what it terms frequent and recurring misrepresentation of events in Africa, Politico reported. The...
60 minutes, coverage, Africa, criticized
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2015-08-25
Wednesday, 25 Mar 2015 09:08 PM
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