New Daily Show Host Trevor Noah Can Broaden America’s View of Africa

Trevor Noah in 2012
Justin Barlow/Gallo Images/Getty Images for MTV
Trevor Noah in 2012
Justin Barlow/Gallo Images/Getty Images for MTV

Trevor Noah Could Puncture One-Dimensional View of Africa

"In his 2012 comedy special That's Racist, one of Trevor Noah's funniest stories is about AIDS, and other dumb questions Americans ask Africans," Arit John wrote Monday for Bloomberg News. " 'The best ignorant conversation I had was in California, in a place called Malibu,' he tells the South African audience. There, at the beach, he met a California girl whose questions get more embarrassing as [the] joke goes on, from 'how did you get to America?' to 'do you guys have waves in Africa?' to 'have you ever had AIDS?'

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" 'And I know as a child of a continent that's ravaged by this disease it's my job, it's my duty to educate people when I met them. It really is a part of who I am,' Noah says. 'But you know when you look at someone in their eyes, and there's no hope.'

"When it was announced Monday that Noah would be the next host of The Daily Show, replacing Jon Stewart, the reaction outside of the comedy world was a collective 'Who?' (Entertainment Weekly, Mediaite, CNN, and The Washington Post all have 'Who is Trevor Noah' stories.) And that leads to questions about what kind of humor he'll bring to the anchor chair.

"Based on his three stints on The Daily Show so far, Noah is an equal opportunity critic. Whereas Stewart's bread and butter is calling out Fox News hypocrisy, Noah has an ability to use humor to remind Americans that they don't care enough about the world around them, and that even the most liberal Americans have a very one-dimensional view of Africa. . . ."

Noah will be in a unique position to influence "The Daily Show's" youthful viewers. As John Phillips wrote Monday for the Orange County Register, "A 2011 online poll conducted by Time Magazine selected 'The Daily Show's' Jon Stewart as 'America’s Most Trusted Newscaster, post-[Walter] Cronkite.' The retiring Comedy Central host was preferred by 44 percent, ahead of [Brian] Williams, Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson.

Frazier Moore wrote Monday for the Associated Press, "Noah, who has appeared on Jay Leno and David Letterman, was the subject of a 2011 documentary film by David Paul Meyer, 'You Laugh but It's True,' which followed his career in post-apartheid South Africa.

"He will join Larry Wilmore, a writer-comedian who replaced Stephen Colbert in January in the half-hour slot following 'The Daily Show.' When Noah takes over, Comedy Central will have completely remade the one-hour comedy block that gave the network critical acclaim and, arguably, its identity.

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"In an interview, Noah likened himself to Stewart, his soon-to-be-predecessor, as a fellow progressive.

" 'Obviously where you're from may inform a lot of your decisions. But traveling the world I learned that progressives, regardless of their locations, think in a global space,' he said by phone from Dubai, where he is on a comedy tour.

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" 'Although I'm a guy who happens to be not from the same place that Jon's from,' he added, 'I've lived in America for years before I went back out on the road and I've learned to love the place.'

"He dismissed the notion that he'll be 'taking over' the program.

" 'I'm joining the team,' he said. 'I get to be a part of that as the host and a face, sharing that space with my fellow correspondents.'

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"Noah made his debut on 'The Daily Show' last December with a segment that poked fun at cliched American images of his native Africa. With a reference to the 'hands up' gesture that was a symbol of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, Noah said, 'I never thought I'd be more afraid of police here than in South Africa. It kind of made me nostalgic for the old days back home.'

"He played a game of 'Spot the Africa,' contrasting a picture of a gleaming new central African superhighway with a pothole-filled picture of New York's FDR drive he took from his cab ride into Manhattan. . . ."

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Aryn Baker, Time: South Africans Rejoice and Regret Trevor Noah's Ascension to The Daily Show

Dylan Byers, Politico: This is Trevor Noah

Thinus Ferreira, Channel 24, South Africa: Comedy Central Africa on Trevor Noah: Extraordinary milestone for African comedy

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Linda Holmes, NPR: 5 Thoughts On Trevor Noah Taking Over 'The Daily Show'

Dave Itzkoff, New York Times: Trevor Noah to Succeed Jon Stewart on 'The Daily Show'

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Dave Itzkoff, New York Times: New 'Daily Show' Host Trevor Noah  Comes Under Fire for Tweets (March 31)

Polya Lesova, Wall Street Journal: Comedian Trevor Noah Crosses Over (Jan. 22)

Stephanie Merry, Washington Post: Who is Trevor Noah, and how will he do as Jon Stewart's replacement on 'The Daily Show'?

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Sam Thielman, adweek.com: So Who Is Trevor Noah, the Guy Replacing Jon Stewart on The Daily Show?

Matt Wilstein, Mediaite: Chris Rock Has the Best Reaction to Trevor Noah's Daily Show News

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CBS Colleague Says Bill O'Reilly Didn't Rescue Him

"Accused of lying on multiple occasions about his reporting experiences, Bill O’Reilly has maintained that 'everything I've said about my reportorial career — everything — is true, ' " Gabriel Arana reported Monday for the Huffington Post. "But now the cameraman who O’Reilly worked with in Buenos Aires after the end of the Falklands War has come forward to challenge the Fox host's account of what happened.

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"O'Reilly has maintained that his coverage of the riots in Buenos Aires after the end of the Falklands War [constitutes] having 'reported on the ground in [an] active war zone' and having 'survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands War.' In addition, he has said he rescued a CBS colleague who 'got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete.'

" 'The camera went flying. I saved the tape because it was unbelievable tape. But I dragged him off the street because he was bleeding from the ear and had hit his head on the concrete,' O’Reilly said in a 2009 interview.

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"But Ignacio Medrano-Carbo, who worked with O'Reilly during the protests, tells liberal magazine Mother Jones that he was neither injured nor in need of rescue.

" 'I never fell nor was I bleeding out my ear at any time during my Buenos Aires assignment,' Medrano-Carbo told Mother Jones in a statement. 'I do not even recall Mr. O'Reilly being near me when I shot all that footage nor after I left the unrest at Plaza de Mayo that evening.' . . ."

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Part-Time Newsroom Employee Promoted Ferguson Protest

In St. Louis, "A KSDK newsroom employee who helped the station cover one civil rights protest — and then organized, promoted and participated in another — may or may not keep her job," Joe Holleman wrote Wednesday for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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"Station officials refused to say Wednesday whether Jana Marie Gamble still works as a part-time production assistant after questions arose about her promotion of a protest last weekend in Ferguson.

" 'We do not discuss personnel matters,' said Marv Danielski, KSDK's station manager.

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"When asked if KSDK viewers had a right to know if Gamble would be involved in any of Channel 5's future coverage of Ferguson, Danielski repeated: 'My policy is that we do not talk about personnel matters.'

"Previously, Danielski said production assistants do not make editorial decisions, and only work the teleprompter and provide technical support. . . ."

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Holleman also wrote, "Before Ferguson marches last weekend, Gamble used flyers, emails and social media postings to encourage people to attend. In an email that was sent to numerous journalists — including a Post-Dispatch reporter, a competing station (KMOV) and KSDK's own tip line — Gamble said the Ferguson marches had added importance because 'of the Ferguson crisis and murder of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson.'

"The marches were headed by longtime local protesters Zaki Baruti and Anthony Shahid. One photo from the event shows Gamble speaking to the crowd through a loudspeaker, and another shows her conferring with Shahid alongside the speaker's platform. . . ."

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Disputes over employees' activities in their off-hours have surfaced periodically at journalism organizations. In one noted case, veteran technology reporter Henry Norr reached a settlement with the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004 after the newspaper suspended him when he participated in protests before the Iraq invasion started.

During the "Occupy" protests of 2011, Brian Stelter wrote for the New York Times, "A number of journalists have been pilloried for their perceived opinions, including the CNN host Erin Burnett, who mocked the New York occupation on her broadcast. Critics seized on the fact that she was engaged to a bank executive.

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"The public radio host Lisa Simeone was dismissed by one of her employers, Soundprint, after she was reported to be a leader of an Occupy camp in Washington, and a freelance journalist, Caitlin Curran, was fired by 'The Takeaway' radio show after she was photographed holding her boyfriend's sign at a protest. In an essay for Gawker, Ms. Curran wondered what ethics codes she had violated since she said Occupy Wall Street lacked a single 'message and focus.' . . ."

Meanwhile, "On Monday, four journalists who were arrested while covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown last summer filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County, the St. Louis County Police, and 20 police officers," Jackson Connor reported Monday for the Huffington Post.

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"Brought by German journalists Ansgar Graw, Frank Hermann and Lukas Hermsmeier, as well as The Intercept's Ryan Devereaux, the suit accuses Ferguson police of battery, false arrest and unreasonable search and seizure. . . ."

. . . Paper Wants an End to Ferguson, Other Municipalities

"About a year before Michael Brown was killed, this page advocated for a One St. Louis solution, one that cancelled the 'Great Divorce of 1876,' " the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorialized on Saturday, recalling the year when St. Louis city split from St. Louis County, leading to 90 municipalities in the county.

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"Potentially all the existing municipal boundaries could be erased, creating a unified government that could make a great city work again. No more Fergusons. No more Jennings. No more Wildwood or Chesterfield or Fenton. No more city within a county next to a county that should be part of the same city.

"One St. Louis. One people. One future.

"Here is what St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said about the city-county unification idea at the time:

" 'The more people hear about the idea, the more likely it becomes,' he said. 'There isn't an issue facing the city or St. Louis County that we couldn't address sooner, more effectively, and at a greater savings to taxpayers if we weren't two different county governments.'

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"Nobody — absolutely nobody — would design St. Louis today with 90 cities, two counties, 82 municipal courts, and 58 police departments. It simply wouldn’t happen. So why do we put up with it when all the evidence says it is costing us in so many ways?

"Erase the lines. End the division. Design something that works.

"Design a greater St. Louis."

Editor Sorry for Article Opposing Multicultural TV Casting

"The editor of film industry website Deadline has apologized for an article about casting minorities on television that sparked fury last week," Ashley Collman and Charlene Adams reported Monday for dailymail.com.

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"Deadline [Hollywood] Editor Mike Fleming Jr said in an interview on Sunday that the article by co-editor Nellie Andreeva titled 'The Year Of Ethnic Castings — About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing?' was not an accurate reflection of the site's opinion and that they will strive not to make a similar mistake again.

"The article posted Tuesday night deals with a surge this season in television shows depicting actors of a diverse background, but stipulates that it could be a 'trend' that's not sustainable. . . ."

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Jeff Yang, Wall Street Journal: As Multicultural TV Shows Succeed, Some Wonder if Diversity has Gone Too Far

Budding Oakland Journalists Graduate, Told the Untold

"Nine people living in East Oakland discovered over the past nine months what it's like to be a journalist — taking on the challenge of telling important but unheard stories from the community around them," Laura Casey wrote Saturday for the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel.

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"Saturday, those nine budding journalists graduated from the Oakland Voices nonprofit program, which helped give them the tools to gather and report those stories.

Oakland Voices is funded by a grant from the California Endowment and is a joint project of the Oakland Tribune and the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

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" 'It's been a journey of love and community-building for our beloved city of Oakland,' journalist Sergio Martinez said at the graduation ceremony. Martinez, a health education professor at City College of San Francisco, wrote about social positions in Oakland and tours of his city, among other topics. Some of his stories were featured in the Oakland Tribune, a feat that left him 'proud, excited and nervous.' . . ."

Erick Chavarria wrote a detailed story about a new LBGTQ gym that opened in East Oakland, one that caters to the special needs of that community, Casey wrote. "Chavarria said this program gave him — a queer, undocumented resident — the voice he's never had as someone who can't vote and who faces homophobia in his Latino community."

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Casey also wrote, "Oakland Voices is a project founded by Oakland Tribune senior community engagement editor Martin Reynolds and coordinated by veteran journalist Brenda Payton. By enlisting people from Oakland's neighborhoods to tell Oakland stories, the project unravels tales of tragedy and triumph that are not covered by mainstream media. Often, the stories told are positive, community-building pieces about protests, elections, the LBGTQ community and even a large community farm in East Oakland. Sometimes they are stories that are just not seen by mainstream readers. . . ."

Casey wrote later in the piece, "Participants apply for the program and, once accepted, learn about journalism and turn in projects on deadline for nine months. They are given a $1,000 stipend, paid in three installments. . . ."

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Author Says Diverse Leadership Begins at the Bottom

"Why are so many businesses and organizations led by people who are white and staffed by people of color? What impact does this reality have on the ability to create more diverse decision-makers?" emails a publicist for Steve Scheier, founder and CEO of Scheier+Group and author of the forthcoming book "Do More Good. Better."

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Scheier "says that these issues are linked and they exist to the detriment of all.

"If we don't take steps to actively build a more diverse leadership base within businesses and organizations nothing will change. These steps include giving people at lower levels the opportunity to make decisions that affect their jobs, and clarifying which decisions they are expected — and authorized — to make.

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"The solution, says Steve, is to give people of all backgrounds the tools to become decision-makers in their jobs. Over time, the number of qualified decision-makers will expand.

"This can be accomplished by:

"Examining our biases about who should be making what decisions and how these biases affect the way decisions currently get made.

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"Examining who has power and who doesn't in your organization, and why.

"Allowing people to speak up and advocate for the decisions they want to make or support.

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"Reinforcing a culture that makes it a priority to proactively resolve decision-making conflict and confusion, and that drives decision-making responsibility down to the most appropriate person within your organization.

"Ultimately, valuable yet often overlooked talent will be empowered to start down the path toward leadership, resulting in greater inclusion throughout the workplace and the creation of new, more diverse leaders. . . ."

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Despite Naysayers, Could Cruz Be "The One" for Latinos?

"Latinos likely haven't made up their minds about Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's newly announced candidacy for President," Ruben Navarrette Jr. wrote Friday for CNN.com.

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"So in a selfless gesture, a whole slew of non-Latinos have quickly stepped forward to spare us the trouble of thinking for ourselves about whether Cruz stands a chance of winning and whether he can get the votes of fellow Latinos.

"The answers were 'No' and 'No.' . . ."

Navarrette also wrote, "It's an exciting time for Latino appointed and elected officials, and it's a lot for my dad to keep straight.

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" 'I better write down these names,' he said.

"My father has voted for more than 50 years, and he's always been loyal to the Democratic Party — even in those presidential elections where offerings were skimpy. (Walter Mondale in 1984, Michael [Dukakis] in 1988, John Kerry in 2004.)

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"But, next year, my dad might just cross party lines to be loyal to his ethnic group.

"The 73-year-old has seen the rise of a lot of remarkable things in his life — airplanes, television, computers, the Internet, smart phones, just to name a few. But, as a Mexican-American who attended segregated schools in the 1940s and endured discrimination — both overt and subtle — in the 1950s, he is still waiting to see a Latino elected President of the United States.

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"You've heard about Republican women who might vote for Hillary Clinton because they want to see a woman President. We know that many African-Americans — including Republicans, such as Colin Powell — were proud to support Barack Obama.

"Now Latinos could have the same opportunity, courtesy of the GOP. What the Democrats couldn't deliver, the Republicans might.

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"To borrow a phrase that Oprah Winfrey used to describe Obama, could Ted Cruz be 'the one?' . . ."

Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post Writers Group: The problem is written all over Ted Cruz's face

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Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas Morning News: If nomination still in play, Texas primary may hold weight (March 23)

Latino Rebels: In 2012, Ted Cruz Said Spanish Speakers Live in 'Language Ghetto:' Now He Wants Their Votes

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Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News Latino: Sen. Ted Cruz skips Hispanic Chamber of Commerce summit, displeases Latinos in D.C.

Errol Louis, Daily News, New York: Time for honest talk about race: Let's discuss Ted Cruz and Liberty University, though not at Starbucks (March 24)

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Wamara Mwine, TriceEdneyWire.com: GOP Faces Uphill Battle for Minority Votes in 2016 Presidential Race (March 23)

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Cruz is all about that base

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: And they're off: An early look at the GOP field (March 23)

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Jessica Torres, Media Matters for America: Hispanic News Media Blast Ted Cruz's Policy Positions

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: New Yorker scrubs 'uppity' description of Ted Cruz

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"All the Elements Came Together" When Bush 41 Pivoted

"I leave The New York Times after having had an amazing 31-year career here, first spending 16 years as a staff photographer, followed by 15 more as a picture editor," Jose R. Lopez wrote Saturday for the New York Times "Lens" blog. "During my time as a photographer, I had the honor of being based in Washington, covering the White House during the Reagan, Bush (41) and Clinton administrations.

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"Though I have a portfolio of historic images from that period, one image that I am especially proud of is one that was made during the 1992 presidential campaign when George Bush was running for re-election against Bill Clinton.

"The Bush campaign had landed in New Jersey for a local event, and I was a part of the traveling press corps. There were long flatbed trucks set up in the press area, which acted as elevated camera positions, and I decided to stand at the very end of the last one, which faced the presidential helicopter fleet that was parked and waiting to whisk Mr. Bush to the next event.

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"The president gave a short campaign speech on the tarmac upon his arrival, then, surrounded by his Secret Service detail, started to walk to the helicopters. Supporters were shouting encouragement to Mr. Bush as he made his way.

"Suddenly, the president spun around in midstride and gave one last wave. All the elements came together. . . ."

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Short Takes

Members of the board of the International Press Institute approved American journalist John Yearwood, world editor of the Miami Herald, as the board's new chair, IPI reported Tuesday from its 64th General Assembly in Yangon, Myanmar. Yearwood is the first African American to lead the board of the press-freedom group, which is based in Vienna. "They also voted to add another vice-chair position, bringing the total number to four, and chose to fill them with Dawn Thomas, CEO of One Caribbean Media Ltd. in Trinidad & Tobago, and newly elected Board Member Markus Spillman, former editor-in-chief of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in Switzerland. . . ." Previous chairs.

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"The president and CEO of The Associated Press called Monday for changes to international laws that would make it a war crime to kill journalists or take them hostage," Kelvin Chan reported from Hong Kong for the AP. "Gary Pruitt said a new framework is needed to protect journalists as they cover conflicts in which they are increasingly seen as targets by extremist groups. . . ."

"Twelve jurors were seated in the first-degree murder trial of Montey Murray when Brunswick County (N.C.) Superior Court was dismissed Monday evening," Caroline Curran reported for portcitydaily.com in Wilmington, N.C. "Several jurors were dismissed last week after a potential juror reportedly had a conversation with Alexa Block, a WWAY TV-3 news reporter, about donating juror pay to the victim's family. Jurors are prohibited from speaking to reporters during a trial, including during jury selection, according to state law. News reporters, likewise, are not to have contact with jurors or potential jurors. . . ."

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Hispanics make up just 4 percent of managerial positions at Yahoo and even fewer at Facebook and Google, although Latinos are the nation's largest minority, numbering 53 million in the USA, Rick Jervis reported Sunday for USA Today. "Attendees at Hispanicize didn't seem overly concerned with those disparate stats. They appeared less anxious about climbing corporate ladders at Silicon Valley and more focused on starting their own empires. . . ." Jervis described Hispanicize as "an annual gathering of the nation's top Latino media execs, journalists and new-media entrepreneurs for a week of workshops, networking and parties. . . ."

"A new state law designed to ensure that crime victims aren't 'revictimized' is actually an unconstitutional attack on free speech, opponents of the legislation argued to a federal judge Monday," Matt Miller reported for the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. "Yet a lawyer with the state attorney general's office insisted the Revictimization Relief Act doesn't target speech, but instead legally takes aim at acts by criminal offenders that would cause long- or short-term emotional trauma to the victims. The act, which was passed last year, was triggered by a decision by Goddard College in Vermont to invite Mumia [Abu-Jamal], who was convicted of the 1981 killing of Philadelphia police Officer Daniel Faulkner, to speak at its commencement. . . ."

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"Former death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal was sent to Schuylkill Medical Center-East Norwegian Street, his lawyer said Monday," Amy Marchiano reported for the Republican Herald in Pottsville, Pa. " 'We were told this morning he was rushed to the hospital. They would not even tell us if he is conscious,' Bret Grote, a Pittsburgh-based lawyer, said while standing outside the hospital Monday evening. . . . "

In Washington, "Two weeks after its scheduled debut, 'The Man Cave' — a new morning program featuring radio veteran Chris Paul and former Washington Post columnist Jason Reidfinally began on ESPN 980 Monday morning," Dan Steinberg reported for the Washington Post. "And the hosts began their first segment on their first day by joking about the unplanned delay, which had prompted national headlines and merriment at rival station 106.7 The Fan. . . ."

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David Ortiz's blustery rant about being unfairly branded a cheater for testing positive for a banned substance in 2003 appeared not in a newspaper or website, but "as a first-person essay on The Players’ Tribune, Derek Jeter's digital venture," Richard Sandomir reported Saturday for the New York Times. "The scoop was a small triumph for a website that has a mission to give an athlete a platform to say what is on his or her mind, serious or not, without a reporter playing the journalistic middleman. . . ."

In an article on a subject rarely broached in the New York Times, Sam Kestenbaum wrote Friday about the life and legacy of Yosef Alfredo Antonio Ben-Jochannan, known as "Dr. Ben," "once a powerful orator and a prolific author, one of the most vital and radical Afrocentric voices of his generation." Ben-Jochannan died March 19 at 96.

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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union Saturday backed demands by the exiled government of Western Sahara, known as "Africa's last colony," for a referendum on its status. As reported in this space on March 6, a group of U.S. black journalists visited the Morocco colony in December. Ambassador Mohamed Yeslem Beisat of Western Sahara messaged Journal-isms Sunday, "the media, it has a pivotal role in all of this. if this struggle continues to be out of sight, it will be out of mind!"

"In sworn affidavits to support plaintiff David DeJesus, an advertising account manager" at the Washington Post "who has worked there for the past 22 years, three black ex-Posties claim they were pushed out of the paper as it schemed to oust older mostly black workers to save money," gadfly Evan Gahr wrote Wednesday in the Daily Caller. "They describe a poisonous atmosphere at the paper — including racist jokes, favoritism toward whites and even segregated seating. . . ."

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"On Friday, March 27, a jury in the U.S. District Court of South Dakota ruled against Vern R. Traversie, a legally blind Lakota elder from South Dakota's Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation," Heather Steinberger reported Monday for the Indian Country Today Media Network. "Traversie, 72, brought suit against Rapid City Regional Hospital over civil rights violations, battery and emotional distress that he said took place while he was a patient at the hospital in 2011. . . ."

As reported in this space, "Tim Giago, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, has handed over the editor's post to Ernestine Chasing Hawk, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe," in the words of indianz.com, which reported the development on Friday. "But in an even bigger change, Giago is handing over publishing duties to Christy Giago Tibbitt, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She's currently the paper's business manager. 'This is the biggest challenge of my life and since I have worked in this business for nearly 20 years I am confident that I will be able to lead the paper into the digital age. . . .' "

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"Afghanistan's highest court has ruled that the police officer convicted of murdering Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding AP correspondent Kathy Gannon almost one year ago should serve 20 years in prison, according to documents sent to the country's attorney general on Saturday," the AP reported.

"Miscreants have hacked to death one Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, believed to be a 'blogger', police say," bdnews24.com, an Internet newspaper in Bangladesh, reported on Monday. "This assassination follows a similar murder of blogger-writer Avijit Roy on Feb 26 at the Dhaka University campus. . . ."

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In Nigeria, "Police officers on Sunday attacked journalists covering elections in Cross River State," Nnenna Ibeh reported Sunday for the Premium Times in Abuja, Nigeria. "The journalists, mainly staff of Channels Television, were attacked in Calabar, the state capital. One of the reporters who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES, Imani Odey, said they were on their way to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for updates on election results collation when some police officers attacked her team of four at about 5.30 p.m. . . ."

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