Sep 15, 2015

CCTV and the Image of Nigeria

Today, I watched a news report by Chinese Central Television, CCTV. The report had to do with the reopening of schools in Borno State as Boko Haram gets weaker and weaker. 

I view that report as humiliating to Nigeria. I was so devastated by the report, which was sent in by CCTV’s Catherina Vittozzi that I am yet to overcome the devastation, some ten hours since I first viewed the report. You can compare my devastation to that which follows after one’s nation loses in the finals of The Nations Cup.

The general mess that the neglect of education precipitates in Nigeria is what makes the report disgraceful and tarnishing. There were close to a hundred kids in one class, some sitting on the floor, others on tables and none on chairs. The kids had no uniforms, with some wearing tattered jeans, some without shoes, feet muddy as if there were no parents to bathe them at home as they got ready for school.

I do not blame the news media for this huge disgrace to the nation, as the news media is always looking for clues to insult official ineptitude and challenge the authorities. Such is one thing that makes and sales news. The authorities in Borno State are to blame for allowing CCTV to get that far into their domain. Sadly, the disgrace is for the whole nation. If you know you have dirty corners, you don’t allow the press to move freely in your terrain. You either control the movement of the press or fix the issues and allow them to move freely.

CCTV particularly has never been good to Nigeria. Their news channel, CCTV Channel 409, is a channel that I watch a lot. I have come to realize, comparing reports on Nigeria to those on other nations, how unfavorable their reports are to the nation. The bright sides of Nigeria are never seen, only those issues that have strong capacities to squash the reputation of the country are capitalized upon. 

If the authorities know there are dirty corners, they must warn heads of organizations and agencies to refrain from granting press interviews without prior approval from the top. While the head teacher thought that appearing on CCTV was a milestone, he failed to realize that he was being insulted. 

Currently, Catherina Vittozzi is in Nigeria and hopes to have a feast of disgraceful reports before leaving. The school report is enough reason to ask her to take a bow before she does enough damage.

The CCTV is a propaganda tool of the Chinese government, just like similar media are to other powerful nations. Unlike the Voice of America, VOA and the BBC, I notice CCTV don’t criticize the Chinese authorities. Rising to the status of a global super power must not always involve matching on the reputation of smaller nations. Dirty corners are everywhere!

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