I was in the middle of my routine research work on the ways U.S. local and the international media portray Africa in the news when I found out that one of Africa’s outstanding journalists in the twenty first century had suddenly passed away.
British Broadcasting Corporation journalist, Komla Dumor, from Ghana, died January 18 in London, United Kingdom, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) announced. Dumor was 41 years old.
I had just finished watching a TED Talk featuring the broadcaster in which he was discussing his experiences as a journalist in Ghana and at the BBC.
The subject was How to Cover Africa in 2012 and Beyond. I took lots of notes.
I was ready to for more research on the subject, so I googled Dumor’s name so I could learn more about the man and his reporting. Why was he so concerned about the way the media presented the news about Africa?
The results of my google search were not good.
What came up at the top was news of Dumor’s recent passing and the tributes being paid to him from around the world.
How possibly could this news have passed me by until a few days after? I scrambled for answers and searched for answers to what may have happened to the young, bright and talented broadcaster.
The news of Dumor’s death was a shock as it was sad. We have lost someone precious and loveable, someone who had the continent of Africa at heart. You could hear the love of Africa from his voice, the kinds of people he chose to interview and the subjects he tackled in his broadcasts.
I did not know him personally, but I listened to him during the day and at night, from my local NPR station in in the U.S.
Komla Dumor was a friend to many of us, Africans who love the news about Africa and cared for what was being said about the continent; good and bad.
‘Ghana is in mourning,” said NPR Africa correspondent, Ofeibea Quirst-Arcton.
To salute the man and pay him respect for a time well spent in this world, even though short, I have published some of my notes from watching a Ted Talk he gave in 2013: Telling the African story.
How to Cover Africa in 2013 and Beyond.
There must be balance or …please don’t patronize me
When in doubt ask an African expert
Hire the best talent to tell the story…or the view is great from my hotel.
Talking about Africa has become, I think, quite popular these days. Everyone is kind of coming to the party, even though some of the people at the party knew the party was there.
Any correspondent or organization can fly in some star and they will land in there and tell you what is happening by looking out their window, but there are those who actually know the place.
The biggest single audience for the BBC is Africa.