Media as a force for change

Media as a force for change

The attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killed at least 67 people. It put the international spotlight on the African country, but only for a short time. Had the deadly siege not taken place in an upper-class neighbourhood where foreigners live and multinational corporations have offices, it wouldn't have received too much attention.

As memories of the horrific attack fade, life seems to have returned to normal. But is this really the case?

Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. Is the insurgency led by the Islamic militant group spreading throughout Africa? Are they becoming increasingly fearless in launching attacks? Instead of dwelling on such questions, our minds have been diverted to the US government shutdown.

Without a strategic interest in the region, the safety of Kenyans is not a big concern for Western powers. On the other side of the globe, Asia's long-standing approach of not meddling in other countries' affairs means that atrocities committed against helpless civilians continue to go unpunished.

I believe the media needs to play a bigger role in raising awareness about these issues.


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