5 thoughts on “We are all Charlie

  1. Amen.

    And from the tragic to the ridiculous, this other incident related to a free press: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/01/06/375436143/kirby-delauter-who-didnt-want-his-name-in-a-news-story-is-now-a-story?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20150106
    I’m linking to the NPR story, but the editorial from the Frederick News-Post is pure genius.

    What this makes me think is that all of us need to work on hearing things we don’t like/agree with/think are wrong.

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  2. I agree Otto–great point. I left a longer comment over on your blog, but what are your thoughts on Goodluck Jonathan’s leadership (or lack thereof?) The U.S. news media have commented a lot lately on his odd disengagement with the ongoing crisis in his own country, while he joins the international chorus condemning the Paris murders. If he made a deal with Boko Haram to lay off during his re-election campaign, it doesn’t seem like it was very effective in moderating their violence, so I don’t get what his silence buys him politically (if there’s a strategy to it at all.) They’re only escalating, and it’s alarming and depressing.

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  3. Nigeria’s Horror in Paris’s Shadow

    I agree with his overall premise, but someone should tell Matt Schiavenza that there are more newspapers in the U.S. other than the New York Times. NPR featured this story prominently, as did several other print and online dailies. He makes a good point here, however:

    But it’s not that the media doesn’t cover Nigeria, or that Westerners don’t care about Africans. After all, when Boko Haram fighters kidnapped nearly 200 girls from a school in Chibok in April of last year, a public campaign to bring them back attracted widespread publicity, with even First Lady Michelle Obama contributing a photograph. Two years before that, a video from the now-defunct NGO Invisible Children that highlighted Joseph Kony, the Ugandan warlord who leads the Lord’s Resistance Army, was viewed over 100 million times in its first six days. These campaigns, whatever their shortcomings, did at least show that people in the West aren’t totally indifferent to African suffering.

    The main difference between France and Nigeria isn’t that the public and the media care about one and not the other. It is, rather, that one country has an effective government and the other does not. The French may not be too fond of President Francois Hollande—his approval ratings last November had plunged to 12 percent—but he responded to his country’s twin terror attacks with decisiveness. Not so Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan. Since assuming the presidency in 2010, Jonathan has done little to contain Boko Haram. The group emerged in 2002 and has consolidated control over an area larger than West Virginia. And it’s gaining ground. Perversely, the seemingly routine nature of Nigeria’s violence may have diminished the perception of its newsworthiness.

    Jonathan’s failure to confront Boko Haram, of course, is nothing new. Nigeria has long been cursed with a corrupt, ineffective government, one perennially unable to translate the country’s vast oil wealth into broad-based prosperity. During his campaign for re-election—Nigerians go to the polls on February 14—Jonathan has vowed to tackle his country’s problem with graft. At a campaign rally on Thursday, the president exhorted his followers to support him.

    “You must vote for your liberation, you must vote for your development, you must vote to take Nigeria to the moon,” he said.

    “You cannot vote to take Nigeria backward.”

    Boko Haram wasn’t mentioned once.

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