We have a researcher looking at why the Darfur story has run so big in the media – especially the American media – compared to other African conflicts and crises. Pedro is at the beginning of his study so we welcome any input.
My theory is that since March 2003 this has been a narrative given legs by a series of co-incidences. First the UN took it up, then certain key figures in the US media such as Nicholas D Kristof, and then some very committed and intelligent celebrities such as George Clooney. And for political reasons George W Bush was happy to back diplomatic efforts. So Liberal America has taken it up as its chosen international cause.
But it also shows the limits of media. Darfur is still a mess. It will need a political solution by Africans in the region, not America. It is a very complex issue as Darfur expert Alex De Waal will explain at an event at the Frontline Club on May 22nd.Concern are giving a public update on Darfur from their people in the region. Here’s details of their event:
Thursday May 15th, Commonwealth Club, 25 Northumberland Avenue, 8.30am Speaker Janu Rao, Concern Country Director, North Sudan. RSVP to Audrey.firstname.lastname@example.org