Reference Points

One must simply call things by their name sometimes.
In this day and time, is unacceptable to have newspaper coverage of an African election in which there are few to no substantive comments from Africans of the country in question.
No foreign commentator, no matter how seemingly insightful or well-placed, can make up for this. Foreign-based Africans, even when they are from that country, are scarcely better as substitutes. Nor, for that matter, do random interviews with street vendors stand the test.
One presumably goes to a country to take the time and effort to understand the range of views on a topical situation of the people of that country. This is how reporters work all over the world – except too often, I regret to say, in Africa, where we forget the most basic rules of enterprise and balance.
The point of view of a foreign embassy should not be given pride of place in a political analysis, particularly absent a bilateral crisis with that embassy’s nation.
If a political figure from a nation is treated in a critical fashion by outsiders, we should also have the point of view of locals, both high (civil society, politicians, and in the obvious interest of balance, a response from members of the criticized party) and low (meaning what are often termed ordinary people)

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