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I have recently written a thesis investigating why the DR Congo receives such little media attention, and this blog will be digesting some of my thoughts over time.

In fact, ‘little media attention’ is probably an understatement considering the conflict has so far claimed around 5 million lives, making it the largest conflict since the Second World War.  In addition, atrocious human rights violations are a daily occurrence.  And what is being done? How is the global public informed? Nothing.

This blog isn’t that structured (somewhat like my thesis) and I’m open to speak about almost any issue surrounding this.

A wise professor of mine spoke some good words recently:

” Taking the notion of “conflict prevention” at face value, it seems to make sense. However, upon reflection it does not make sense. The essence of living is conflict. Conflict between life and death. Conflict between who we are and who we would want to be. Conflict between expectations and realities.  Conflict is the source of creativity, growth, and productivity. Conflict is at the core of a democratic society.”

Cees Hamelink

This is my conflict with what I perceive as an injustice against not only the people of the DR Congo, but every single one of us.


15 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2009 5:28 pm

    Hey! I’ve been so slow on the uptake.

    You’re in Amsterdam! I’m going to be at the University of Amsterdam studying MSc in ID as of August 8th. We should definitely link up.

    Also, since my background is in media, I want to look into similar issues under the development agenda. Concepts like the Katine Project, Ushaidi and more. I might want to pick your brain.

    Lastly, what’s your professional background? Media? I’d love to hear more about the city, the university in general (assuming you’re at UvA), and more.

  2. deeu permalink
    April 12, 2009 9:37 am

    will u tell me the reason behind it?

    • Simon permalink*
      April 13, 2009 6:08 pm

      Hi deeu, thanks for reading. Could you elaborate a little on your comments? The reason behind my investigation is because I have a theory that media is almost ignoring the current crisis. I’m investigating why the media select certain stories, and ignore others. What are the motivations behind these? What pressures are there upon the journalistic intent (what is the intent?)? And so forth.

      If you’re asking the reason’s behind the conflict, they are manifold. If you’re interested, I can forward you some articles which outline the conflict, and delve deeper into the underlying reasons. Most, if not all, is available by searching google so you could start there.

      All the best.

  3. AfroVoltaire permalink
    May 7, 2009 9:26 am

    Actually, Simon, I believe that if deeu went to, and explored the site a bit, he/she will find it quite easy to understand why the conflict in the Congo exists, and why it has lasted so long.

    Great blog, and great topic! I think you approach it with great openness and that is something I appreciate deeply as a Congolese citizen. I will keep reading.

  4. Simon permalink*
    May 7, 2009 10:48 pm

    Thank you, I appreciate that.

  5. Tulia permalink
    December 1, 2009 2:47 am

    can you please tell me why Congo is always in war.i don’t understand ever since i was born Congo had war until now, what’s wrong.

  6. Ritah permalink
    December 25, 2009 7:02 am

    I’ve found your blogs quite interesting. I am doing similar research – comparative analysis of western and local media coverage of the congo crisis.

    • Simon permalink*
      January 12, 2010 12:33 pm

      Great, I’d be interested to hear some of your findings.

  7. December 28, 2009 1:24 pm


    As a media professional who is often writing about Africa, I was glad to stumble across your interesting web site. I am working on a thesis about the DRC myself, focusing more on the economic side of the conflicts there.

    I would love to discuss it with you if you are interested.

    Just some quick thoughts on your July 21 post, where you write that “economics really are the driving force behind this conflict. And, by the same token, economics are restraining decent reporting of the conflict”. I agree, but it’s not the whole story. One of the biggest ongoing media stories in Norway in 2009 has been about the trial of two Norwegian mercenaries sentenced to death in Kisangani. I don’t have the exact figures, but I believe around a dozen Norwegian journalists went to cover the trial, some of them staying in DRC for months. VG, out biggest newspaper, spent £350,000 on this case, which is a lot for a Norwegian paper. Still, they hardly wrote a single word about the conflicts in the East, the economy in general, politics, culture – nothing, except minute-by-minute coverage of this trial, not even when it was paused for weeks. I am amazed, and I cannot really explain it, but I believe this happens in part because 1) the media does not believe their readers/viewers are interested and 2) the journalists do not know what to look for, or where (most of them did not even speak French). I believe this could be an interesting case study.

    How is the work with your thesis going? Will it be possible to read it?

    Yours sincerely,
    Even Tømte

    • Simon permalink*
      January 12, 2010 12:33 pm

      Great, glad you found this site of some interest. Would be happy to discuss with you further.

  8. January 11, 2010 5:05 am

    Rather than blame journalists per se, or audience, I would investigate the influence and power behind the journalist, that is the corporate-owned media. All or most journalists work for a corporately owned paper, TV station, cable station, radio, etc., and that’s where the power, i.e. money lies. There is usually a profit-related motive at work behind what journalists are influenced or allowed to report, or at least what is published (apart, of course, from what one might write on one’s own blog). I would say, “follow the money.” There is probably a mineral or chemical or mining or political interest at the heart of why this is not getting the attention it deserves. Corporate media does not really care about the deaths of people unless it is a short-lived sensationalist event (like a tsunami).

    • Simon permalink*
      January 12, 2010 12:32 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, something a later went on to explore in other posts. Thanks for your interest – I enjoyed your website very much.

  9. June 7, 2010 12:10 am

    Greetings Simon

    I’m very impressed by your blog, and your photography. I’m participating in The Run For Congo Women this summer and I’ll be blogging before and after at I’m wondering if you’d like to provide some photography for my site?

    Thanks much, and best,

    Em Hutto

    • Simon permalink*
      June 7, 2010 1:34 am

      Hi Emily. Thanks for that – always happy to help and support such a thing, no problem. One thing – which photos are you referring to exactly?

      • June 7, 2010 9:42 pm

        Fabulous! Thank you so much.

        I would love to use the photo from your post on March 23, 2009 “Rape as a Weapon of War” and the other photo from your post on March 17, 2009 “Media & Influence.”

        If you have any others you’d like to share I’d love to include them as well. I’m going to link your blog to mine as well. If you’d like to write something specifically about rape as a weapon of war, Run for Congo Women, or something equally relevant I would love to post it and credit you as well.

        Thanks for your help!

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