Mainstream Media Portrayal of G8 Summit and Buildup
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While there is much coverage of the build up and the security against protestors, and even a high level overview of what will be discussed as well as moving reporting on the plight of many people in Africa, oftentimes crucial and important details and historical context are severely lacking.
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Portraying G8 Leaders as Saviors
Typically, mainstream media coverage on issues such as debt relief, seems to result in the same main question: will it help when so many of the recipients are corrupt and are going to embezzle the money away? While it sounds like criticism of the establishment and has the appearance of debate, this question reveals a number of problems:
- The G8 leaders are indirectly portrayed as
saviors(for they have hardly ever been criticized by the mainstream media themselves in terms of, for example, how
- Rich nations created the debt trap for the third world1
- Rich nations impoverished the third world even before the debt trap2
- Rich nations have then forced disastrous reforms on these countries3 for debt relief in a way that it actually kills, and reduces chances for development (as the aim of reforms are to repay loans).
- And never is it mentioned that many of the countries in severe debt have odious debt because
- These same rich nations often overthrew legitimate democracies in favor of dictators and pliable democracies who were the ones to embezzle away the money.
- Never is it pointed out that large amounts of debt were transferred to them by colonial administrations4 and is completely unfair.
- By pointing to legitimately worrying examples such as Zimbabwe, it creates the appearance that most countries have such problems. Yet a great number of African countries are actually not as corrupt as such stereotypes would like us to believe. (Needless to say, corruption in rich countries is hardly covered by comparison, or at least not described in the same way, so again perceptions are different.)
- The type of aid5 is hardly discussed, which is historically used by the donors to further their own foreign policies, rather than necessarily benefit the recipients.
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