Opinion: Why Cristiane Amanpour is to blame for Moesha’s woes


Anyone who recognises free speech should understand that it’s not a sole preserve of the ‘oppressed’. It is a holistic concept. It is one that brings balance to a story. It facilitates fairness when both sides of an issue are presented to an audience for them to make inferences.

In as much as one exercises their right to speak freely, they should be tolerant of what others say in rebuttal. The content of such, is another issue altogether but please respect the right of other people to respond to issues.
That’s the first thing I’ll demand of Amanpour.

Now if I were Amanpour, I will rather be interested in understanding why such a ‘harmless’ statement from Moesha produces such public outcry. Does that mean her statement wasn’t a true representation of issues in her country or is the whole country wrong? Did Amanpour take into consideration the cultural context of her story before framing her questions? And in doing so, did she interview women of opposing views to bring balance to the story?
Was there balance in her story?

I see she’s alluding to the fact that this was a snippet and that viewers should wait to see the full thing but then again I ask, if indeed there’s an element of balance then why does she not show that in a snippet so viewers know their country wasn’t being wrongly represented to the world and that someone else spoke for the ‘other side’. Did she not know that in showing just one side, it was going to cause such a public response?
I’m still waiting to see the full documentary to tell if….oh wait, could that be it? Now everyone wants to see the full documentary. So in the end CNN benefits from this commercialisation of a clearly sensitive issue?

Yes, indeed these are international news agencies we’ve respected for a long time BUT that doesn’t mean they are devoid of poor editorial standards and unethical reporting.
If anything, the public response to HOW she told the story indicates that there’s something wrong in her presentation.

The harsh response to Moesha’s comments was because those women who didn’t subscribe to her assertions didn’t feel adequately represented in the documentary. So next time Amanpour, focus on bringing ‘proper’ balance to your story and leave the rest to your viewers to make their own conclusions. Isn’t that what journalism is about?

I will watch the full documentary as you’ve suggested and if I find there’s no element of balance then I too will be truly disappointed in how you’ve told this story in your documentary…with all due respect.

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