First Laura Seay, an assistant professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, wrote an opinion piece for Foreign Policy in which she attacked foreign correspondents' coverage of Africa. In "How not to write about Africa," Seay writes: "Western reporting on Africa is often fraught with factual
errors, incomplete analysis, and stereotyping that would not pass editorial
muster in coverage of China,
Pakistan, France, or Mexico." She says that the coverage, which often lacks journalistic quality and integrity, tends to make "old Africa hands" like herself "cringe."
GlobalPost's senior correspondent for Africa, Tristan McConnell, took issue with Seay's commentary and responded with his own. In "How do journalists write about Africa?" McConnell argued that Seay made vast generalizations about how reporters cover the continent. "Lumping all foreign correspondents together as dumb racists is a quick
route to the moral high ground, but it’s also a cheap rhetorical trick," he wrote.
McConnell's piece reignited a debate on this issue on Twitter, with numerous journalists, academics and others weighing in. Here are some of their responses.
Seay also responded to McConnell.