Making African Suffering Legible: Co-Constructing Narrative of the Darfur Atrocities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the last two decades have seen a concerted effort to understand the role and place of African journalism in covering events on the continent, there has been little focus on who journalists chose to quote as sources in their stories. This despite scholarship on sources being vital to our understanding of how journalists gain the “raw materials” to produce stories about events. Thus, while scholarship has begun taking Africa's coverage of itself seriously, there has been a slower uptick in focusing on whom African journalists give voice to as co-constructors of events. This silence is even more perplexing, considering that scholars and observers have been critical of who is quoted as a source when the global north covers events unfolding in Africa. This paper shows that African suffering was made legible for African audiences through a combination of American, English, and Sudanese voices. Specifically, it finds that African journalists are –counterintuitively - vital players in silencing some African voices in their construction of knowledge about the atrocities in Darfur. Despite the criticism leveled at journalism fields in the global north over their perceived silencing of African voices, African journalists are similarly engaged in this silencing as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Sources
  • darfur
  • journalism fields/subfields
  • kenya
  • newspapers
  • rwanda
  • south Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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