Global news agency Associated Press (AP) was put on the spot on Sunday for a breaking news tweet on the Ethiopian Airlines crash that claimed 157 lives, which ignored casualties from Black Africa including Kenya which suffered the highest number of casualties at 32.
AP’s tweet listed Canadians, Chinese, Americans, Italians, Indians, French, British, Egyptians among those killed in Ethiopian plane crash leaving out casualties from Sub Saharan Africa.
BREAKING: Authorities say Canadians, Chinese, Americans, Italians, Indians, French, British, Egyptians among those killed in Ethiopian plane crash.
— The Associated Press (@AP) March 10, 2019
Doreen Apollos, a former Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) journalist who now works at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was among the first to censure the news agency.
She said she did so to highlight the fact that “Black Lives Matter”, after the US movement against police profiling of Black Americans that lead to targeted, targeted extrajudicial killings often without any reason at all
Kenya, Ethiopia, Togo, Uganda, Sudan, Somali, Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, Morocco, Djibouti also lost their citizens too…
There, I fixed the African part that you didn’t focus much on. Btw, Kenya had the largest number of fatalities. https://t.co/FzWCcyCJNs
— Apollos Doreen (@ApollosDoreen) March 10, 2019
Others called on AP to pull down the tweet.
@AP please just remove this tweet.
— Dr. Jama Musse Jama (@JamaMusse) March 11, 2019
AP’s coverage of the air crash described as racist by a majority of Kenyans on social media comes days after The New York Times re-assigned beleaguered journalist Kimiko de Freytas Tamura to London after her coverage of the dusitD2 terror attack put her on the receiving end of Kenyans who were incensed by the publisher’s decision to embed gory photos in her story.
Ms Tamura was set to become The Times’ East Africa Bureau Chief but clashes between the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and her employer rendered her stay in Kenya untenable.
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This is likely to revive the discussion on the coverage of African tragedies by Western media.