Religion and Reporting in Africa

Anthea Butler

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195395068
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Religion and Reporting in Africa


Media coverage surrounding war, ethnic conflicts, and religion in Africa were important worldwide stories of the late twentieth century. However, reporting on religion in Africa has been complicated for the American mainstream press because it is often filtered through the lens of U.S. politics and interests. Conflicts in Somalia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Ethiopia all contained religious elements that either incited or resulted in hostilities among faiths. Two crucial moments in the past three decades stand out as exemplars of religion reporting in Africa: apartheid in South Africa and genocide in Rwanda. These two cases illuminate how the American press corps has covered religion in Africa and provide a variety of stories that demonstrate the challenges of covering religion in Africa, as well as the myriad ways in which religion touches many aspects of life and political action in African countries.

Keywords: Africa; religion; press; religion reporting; media coverage; ethnic conflicts; apartheid; genocide; Rwanda; politics

Article.  5338 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Religious Studies

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