Thursday, October 05, 2006

Anderson Cooper's initiative brings reality of Congo to our living rooms.

CNN initiative helps get the most difficult news out of Africa Updated

Since Tuesday, CNN 360 anchor Anderson Cooper has reported from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where war and disease have killed more than 4 million people since 1998. And CNN's Sanjay Gupta and Jeff Koinange are in Darfur for a two-pronged look at crises affecting millions of people.
"I don't know another network that would let us cover not one but two humanitarian crises and say, 'Let's devote three nights to it,' " Cooper said Wednesday from Rutshuru, Congo, where he visited a hospital that treats rape victims.
CNN's initiative adds to the media attention that Hollywood stars such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have helped focus on the continent's troubles.
NBC Today's Ann Curry interviewed Jolie from Nambia in April and reported earlier from Chad and Sudan's Darfur region. In May, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams traveled to Nigeria, Ghana and Mali and talked to singer Bono about his humanitarian efforts.
Lara Logan reported from Darfur this summer on TheCBS Evening News, and Scott Pelley has an upcoming piece on Darfur for 60 Minutes. Two weeks ago, ABC's Martin Seamungal reported on World News Tonight on efforts to improve life expectancy in Tanzania.
Nonetheless, in 2005, network newscasts devoted less than one-half of 1% of their newscasts to sub-Saharan Africa, says network news analyst Andrew Tyndall. That number is up this year — to 0.9% through August, he says.
Reporting from Africa "is challenging and difficult, and I wish we did more. I wish we had more time to report from a lot of different places in the world," says Evening News chief Rome Hartman.
Cooper is in Africa as top-rated Fox News Channel celebrates its 10th anniversary with a 400,000-viewer lead. According to CNN, his trip is part of an overall plan to differentiate the network from others and showcase international reporting. (Fox and MSNBC also have reported from Africa at times.)
For Cooper, this is one in a line of humanitarian stories — Somalia, Rwanda, the Asian tsunami — that he has covered. He won an Emmy for his reports from Niger last summer, a story he locked onto while on vacation in Rwanda.
His last report airs tonight at 10 ET/7 PT. "The Congo is not on the top of people's list of things they'd like to watch," he says. "But if you can tell an interesting story and take people on a journey and introduce them to people they wouldn't otherwise have met, people are interested. They do care."

2 comentarios:

ivy said...

christiane -- is it from "USA Today"? -)

robin said...

@ Ivy: yes, it is from Wednesday's USA Today, Life section.I got the Yahoo! Alert as well.


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