Is Jeff Koinange a hack?

CNN headline news approx 12:25CST
The story is led by 2 anchors asking the question of whether your race...something something...i wish there were transcripts of live broadcasts, better yet, i wish i had tivo. Anyhoo, Jeff is walking with two farmers (they happen to be white zimbabweans) through a mango farm. The farmers were angry about the prospect of having to leave their farms. Jeff's narration continues for a couple of minutes, statistics of how many white farmers have had to leave etc. Cut to a girl walking through (it is not clear if it is the same farm) Ms Nakamuro i think was her name. She says something to the effect of 'let us share, because we do not have anywhere to go'. Narration continues, cut to Robert(Bob)Mugabe in the yellow shirt saying something to the effect of 'this is our land'.
There was little in the piece in the way of background, such as (subset)
- Why was the land issue not settled after independence? Who is to blame for this?
- Mugabe's race baiting since its election time, and he is of the mesozoic period of dictators not willing to let go of power, stomping on dissent on their way out?
The piece may have been longer and more nuanced but was edited to fit the headline news format. It came out slant. (As in ooh damn this is unfair to these 2 white dudes iam talking to!- IMO it may well be, though everything is relative.)I asked a colleague their opinion of the piece. He said "well, CNN is largely geared towards a white audience, what did you expect?" hmmmm.I dont know how valid that statement is. What i know for sure, is that I expected better reporting, this story just didnt come out right. He told the story, but what i saw on cnn was told slant.

Unrelated, but i felt compelled to share. Book to check out if you havent read it already: The Zanzibar Chest by Aidan Hartley


Blogger jjray said...

Didn't see the Jeff Koinange piece from CNN commented upon but have seen Koinange cover stuff in the past on CNN and have generally liked his reports. One thing to keep in mind is that a reporter is, many times, just an on-screen talking head. It is the producer who decides the content of the report. Thus, if the complaint is that the story dwelled too heavily upon the plight of the white farmers as opposed to severe suffering of the masses going on in Zimbabwe right now (a very fair complaint IMHO), I'm not sure it is Jeff's fault but, rather, the CNN producer.

BTW, read a disturbing story on Zimbabwe and the dictator Mugabe in the NYTimes today: link.
This country used to produce an excess of food and now is facing mass starvation. Mugabe won't let the relief organizations into the country to help the people according to the Times. He'd just as soon let them starve.

4/02/2005 12:01 PM  
Blogger Afromusing said...

JJR, thanks..noted about the reporter being a talking head, maybe i should change the title of the post? Come to think of it, it seemed like the piece was edited to come out slant.suggestions on the title?
I just read the NY Times story this morning.I do not know why African leaders like him do not look at Mandela and learn from him. (He didnt hog power...when he could have if he wanted to).I find it very selfish, no consideration of 'the greater good'. I appreciate your comment!

4/02/2005 12:42 PM  
Blogger Afromusing said...

I may not have been very clear about my main beef with the piece, the important elements were present, but the commentary did not give a clear sense of the situation in zim and how it got to be that way...especially for those with minimum knowledge of Zim and its history.

4/02/2005 1:58 PM  
Blogger jjray said...

The title of your post had a question-mark behind it so that indicates it is open to debate. I gave my 2 cents but others could view it another way. A more senior correspondent like Christiane Amanpour probably has a lot more say over the content of her reports than a Jeff Koinange.

I don't know what the answer is to someone like Mugabe. All the African leaders need to condem him ... but apparently this is not happenning. The observer group from other African nations has endorsed the election results. link.

Mandela is like George Washington, each voluntarily walked away from the power after they had served their time. We can only hope other African leaders learn from this lesson. Hopefully Kenya has a strong enough democracy at this point that a president could not rig an election (i.e., the people would not stand for it and force him out).

4/03/2005 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Irene said...

I have seen Jeff Koinange rise to journalistic heights that many of us Kenyans can only dream of. I generally like his reporting: enjoyed his reports from Liberia during the chaos engineered by the mad man Charles Taylor, as well as his occassional reports from Iraq when Saddam was run out of office. I think he is a consumate professional. Missed the piece on CNN from Zimbabwe though, so no comment on that. I am dismayed at the level of complacency displayed by African nations regarding the situation in Zimbabwe. When will our leaders rise and say enough is enough??

4/04/2005 8:11 PM  
Blogger Afromusing said...

True, true, check out this story
from allafrica about SA observer team saying that the elections reflect the will of the people.Looking forward to your blog!hint hint...

4/04/2005 9:21 PM  
Anonymous TBO said...

I honestly wish I could agree with you all. In my limited personal experience, it seems to me that Koinange has a chip on his shoulder about anything to do with Africa. My apologies, I know this post is about Kenya, however the few reports I have seen him log about Nigeria have been biased towards bad mouthing Nigeria and all things Nigerian. I wish he would go elsewhere are cover other news. I don't believe that Mr. Koinange has the ability to be objective about any issue to do with Africa (whatever that means). I must clarify however, that I am a Nigerian (whatever that means). My apologies for posting off topic.


9/05/2005 11:18 PM  
Blogger George Charlson said...

check out: picture of zoroastrianism

3/05/2006 10:30 PM  
Blogger Serena said...

I think Jeff's pieces are good. I disagree with Tbo - Jeff covers stories that need worldwide attention, and as most of us know, bad news is news that grabs attention. As for being objective about Africa - all I can say is his passion for this continent definitely shines through.

My 2c.. Serena

9/28/2006 7:33 PM  
Anonymous A.man.I said...

It looks like Jeff is off the air with CNN.. something to do with another blog that airs some dirty laundry. I blogged it today.

5/30/2007 8:16 AM  

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