Monday, August 28, 2006

ALL HAIL 'UNCLE JEFF'


Reporting Live....

This post has been long over due. I am sure you all know who this gentle man is on the left and if you don't, then you're not very current on your news and current affairs. As in if Oprah Winfrey knows who Jeff Koinange is and you don't, then you berra 'axe' somborri. So let me tell you about Uncle Jeff as I have begun to call him since his 'reporting live from Liberia' days. Jeff Koinange is the Africa correspondent for CNN (while Alphonso Van Marsh is the video-correspondent..why they have ONLY two guys assigned to a whole continent of 50 countries and over 1000 ethnicities beats me, but it's better than the other networks that have none at all). This guy is by far and hands down one of the most talented and fantastic reporters to join CNN, and there are many of them in that place that it is hard to pick one over the other, but I have to tip my hat off higher to Uncle Jeff. May be I am just biased because he is from Africa and because of 'other factors'. The guy is a Ninja when it comes to covering the happenings of the continent. His news packages are heartfelt, sincere and tear jerking to say the least. I know the Nigerian government had a bitter sweet relationship with him when he was the bureau chief in Lagos (guess CNN got too much grief that they scrapped that spot. That I think was a loss for Nigeria but I am sure no one was wise enough to see the gain in having a CNN bureau in your country) and claim he exaggerates, but I'll rather be over sold on the severity of the news than to get nothing at all which is usually what happens if you leave it to the likes of NTA or Mister Minister of Misinformation. At the sound of a pin, you can trust Jeff to be reporting live from any point on the Continent at anytime just like an African-jujuman. One day he is in Cape, and before you blink he is in Cairo. Last time I checked my history books Cecil Rhodes never completed that particular rail line, which makes me wonder how the hell does he do it all, he and his photographer.
Since Jeff came on board, I have noticed a big difference in the way CNN covers Africa on their national airwaves. I don't get to watch CNN International so I am sure the coverage must be a bit different there with Femi Oke and Isha Sesay holding down the forte (Zain Verjee is from Kenya and is representing too on the national channel). Jeff brings a variety of stories about the continent. When it comes to the normal and very typical 'Africans are hopeless', 'Africans are always hungry or sick' or 'Africans are always killing each other' he is sure to tell it as it is without sugar coating. When it comes to the other touching stories about people that stirs up emotions, about positive things happening he manages to not just 'pitch' but 'sell' his stories to the 'powers-that-be' and brings it to us like I haven't seen before. And as I have observed, anything that has to do with a 'good' side of Africa needs a used-car salesman or a 'celebrity' attachment to be sold.
I am definitely not saying that my icon Christiane Amanpour has not done a great job covering Africa. Are you kidding me, she is the very reason I am broke and struggling journalist. I'm almost amazed that I don't have a shrine for her in the corner of my closet, or a locket with her picture hanging over my neck. I am also not saying that Charlyne Hunter-Gault didn't do a great job as Africa Bureau Chief in Jo'burg either. In fact they both set the pace and paved the way for Jeff to come in and shine as he is doing right now. But I think what makes Jeff different is that he is African himself and knows where the shoe pinches 'US' more than a foreign reporter thrown into the mix just because he or she can speak 'french' or joined the Peace Corp after college . (That's Addy being sarcastic.) When Jeff reports I hear an African man telling the story of his people and with passion, authority and command in his voice saying 'Stop, Look and Listen because what I am about to tell you is important to me and should be to you as well'.

You must be wondering why I am raving about Jeff all of a sudden. Well I was really excited about Oprah but couldn't help but notice how impressive Jeff's news package about Oprah's Academy was. You can see the segment as it appeared on Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room below.



It was such a good story that it brought tears to my eyes. Let me not even get into that alliteration and assonance of his writing that just sounds like something out of Wole Soyinka's anthology. At first I brushed it off as part of the Oprah effect,because everything Oprah does brings tears of joy and happiness to ones eyes. I wish she would run for President so that I can join her campaign. Lol. When the same thing happened this past weekend with the Barack Obama 'Back to My Roots' story below, I was like 'WOW!!! This dude is awesome and where the hell did CNN find this guy'. I don't think any body else could have told those stories better(I couldn't find the other story I saw on Monday with the Senator taking the test).


Anyways I just thought I'd point it out just in case y'all didn't notice or just missed it. What do you guys think about Jeff's reporting if you have seen it in the past. Do y'all remember him on Katrina Aftermath. I think he did a superb job reporting on that because he was basically one of a few reporters at CNN with 'that kind of reporting' experience if you know what I mean. Who's your absolute favorite on CNN and why? My list is long but here it is in random order; Christian Amanpour, Anderson Cooper, Kyra Phillips, Jeff Koinange, Femi Oke, Soledad O'brien (missed her since I got out west, she comes on at 3am), Lou Dobbs, Wolf Blitzer, Ben Wedeman, Richard Quest, Tony Harris. (Adaora Udoji for sentimental reasons but she's now on Court Tv)... OH WHAT THE HECK I LOVE ALL OF THEM!!!THEY ARE JUST THE BEST!!!!
Also I know the answer to the question of why Africa doesn't get any coverage will be because the American Government has no interest there. But is that TRULY the case? Why don't we see positive stories about lifestyle, politics and reform coming out of Africa in American media. With the exception of the weekly program Inside Africa on CNN, which by the way is a very very good and eye opening program, why aren't there any others of the sort on American TV (I won't even get into the racism on National Geographic and Discovery Channel with their shows on animals and African tribes, as if the tribesmen too are some exotic animals. What is up with that? Has anyone seen that new reality show about the black natives on some Pacific Island. Not sure which channel or what it is called, tried searching but no luck. Anyways what exploitation. I am all for science and teaching about the worlds people and diversity but I abhor the demeaning and derogatory manner in which it is done. Where are the NAACP, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson when they need to be useful) . I am even upset that in the 24 hour round programming the only special regular attention Africa gets is a 30 minute program that only airs on the East Coast. I guess what we really need is for MNET to get a space on Comcast, Direct TV or TimeWarner and start beaming to the American audience or can you call and request it someone school me? And does anyone have the African Channel, what's that like. Anyways too many WHYS so I'll let you answer these and comment away already.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely adore Anderson Cooper! He is just brilliant! He is my hero and the reason why i want to join CNN infact i applied for summer internship and i was turned down. Am applying again next year!! Others include, Jonanthan Mann,Christian Amanpour,Femi Oke, Adaora Udoji (her coverage of Hurrican Katrina was good, i must say), Aneesh Raman,Paula Zahn, Sonia Rusller(don't think she still there though).

About Jeff Koinange, he is good but he is not favorite. But it is good that an african is reporting on african issues and politics though. He speaks with passion that most reporters lack (i must say anderson cooper and christian amanpour are very passionate about issues they cover) Anderson Cooper's coverage of the famine in sudan or somali abi Ethopia(can't remember the country though) and the recent 4wks war in Lenanon was good.
I envy you so much for working for CNN. U don't know how i want to for them!

Adaure said...

Yeah Anderson Cooper is DA BOMB!!!
I actually don't work for CNN, I don't think I ever said I did (re-read the profile). I only aspire to someday work for CNN.

Suru said...

Oh my gosh, I just saw the news on Oprah's new school opening in SA and I was wondering who the reporter was. Good job Addy on the reporter lesson. I needed that.

As far as why Africa does not get more coverage, I think it is because not enough people want to report it. I am not really sure how they assign people when reporting but I figure that those who currently report on Africa are passionate about it, so they pbviously wanted to do it. So more people like our very own Adaure ;-) and anonymous have to get jobs at places like CNN and get THE JOB DONE!!! For real, I am waiting to see you there oh!!

mide said...

I really do think that Christian Amanpour, is in a class of her own. I mean she goes to war zones and places a lot of people would shy away from. Just a couple of days ago, she covered Osama bin Laden. I think she is strong, courageous, rugged and has stood the test of time again and again.

In all honesty, I don’t have any favorite but I feel Christian Amanpour, should be rated differently from the others.

Icy said...

Adaure.. I have to say this is one of your entries I enjoyed tremendously. It's interesting how the styles of reporters can affect people's response to it. Thanks for bringing this news to light. My fav reporter is actually NONE!... I feel a lot of reporters add sentiments to their style and for me that takes away from the actual story. But I have to say I enjoy Jeff's reporting style and I look forward to seeing more and more. It just seems like fact. His choice of words don't add sentiments.. KUDOUS ON THIS entry mamasita.. I love it..!

Parazone Super Bleach said...

I too have enjoyed Jeffs reporting Style. He definitely holds your attention when he is on air! I saw the Oprah academy bit when it aired and was only too excited that Jeff reported the story! As you said, He is the one that knows where the shoe is pinching us as Africans..This entry definitely show you know your onions! Very informative.

Icy said...

wait o! is it just me or was Oprah sounding Bree-ish for a minute lol! DAS HOT lol!

WalePhotos said...

nice entry!

just would like to add that there are plenty of arican journalists out there. i mean a WHOLE lot. i only hope the good, hard working ones get recognized soon.

p.s., i PERSONALLY don't think working for CNN enthralls a good journalist. rather, working for ariztos mag makes you da bomb-diggity!

lol...i'm half kidding. only half.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to change the topic a bit, but please take a look at this….got this IM from a pal in Nigeria. I voted too, even though I don’t know the Ejike guy. I figured, anything to help a Nigerian coming up the legal way right? Pass it on to other Nigerians you know might want to help.

--

Folks, There is a fan poll on the Cleveland Cavliers' website on the above subject matter. Ejike Ugboaja who is a fellow Nigerian was drafted to NBA directly from Nigeria. He needs our support now. He is at 6% because very few people know him in U.S.A. Since he is a fellow Nigerian struggling to make it in this competitive profession, the least we can do for him is to show our support by participating in this Poll.


Please click on this link http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/ and scroll downn to the poll to vote for him. I believe we have enough patriotic Nigerians to move this our brother up in the Polls. Your cooperation will be highly appreciated. I do not know him but I have voted, please oblige.

Anonymous said...

Wetin Ejike don do for me lately!
Abeg Jo!

Anonymous said...

typical naija!!!

Anonymous said...

Ejike never do anything for you. But na dat attitude whe we naijas get nai dey kill us. We no sabi stick together help each other. Abeg make una vote for the boy. If nothing else for the pride of having another naija person up there.

Bella Naija said...

Yes ooo...I luv Jeff tooo....I have met him several times oooo in Saipan Lagos lol!!! see going out pays...he is really cool...always in his denim jacket and jeans....yeah, i read his article on how emotional he got when Oprah announced tht scholarship recepients for her sa school...

by the way,i luv anderson cooper too...tho he can never be interested *if u know what i mean* but its all good....nice one adaure

africanprincess said...

OMG..love this post. I just saw the Oprah clip earlier and yep Yetty our Oprah was sounding a bit posh and "bree-ish".lol. no be only naija dey do fone oh!. great post Addy-loves it! stay on your grind cos I cant wait to see you on the 'telly'...Yetty thanks for posting abt it.

ABBEY said...

Unfortunately, I never really heard of this Jeff guy till now. But then again the only time I really watch CNN is when Anderson Cooper 360 is on.

I remember when he came on Oprah sometime ago, I was balling with him and his mum, they has really been through some stuff in his lifetime. One notable quote I got from him is "Hope is never a Plan". He mentioned it with regards to all the people in power that did not take action when they were notified about Katrina's impending doom. They all "Hoped" it will not be as serious as the weather guys said, but never had a back up "Plan" in case it was! Tough

Forgive me if I sound a tad bit obsessive about my boy.

ABBEY said...

oops and excuse the few "ibons"

ZZa said...

Christiane Amanpour!!!
I adore her she is the coolest and bravest chick on TV. and the Oprah story made me cry

Anonymous said...

well wedding lovers check out ayo and seun thier wedding pics are out hope u enjoy them

Anonymous said...

its ayoandseun.com

Anonymous said...

i love her makeup..

NaijaBloke said...

I tire for all the anonymous for here o.U no go even know who to reply sef.Abeg dey put numbers after the anonymous.

NaijaBloke said...

Adaure I dan tag ya'll for my blog o.

Anonymous said...

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mide said...

Love Rhyna's pics. I could see the joy in her smile.

Also saw Pastor Bridget Formiyan. Anointed Woman of God. God is really working through her.

Anyway, happy for you Rhyna. The Lord is with you.

Anonymous said...

Ada...Luving your new pix..very Jana of the Jungle..Lovely

Adunni said...

Excellent post, Sis! Uncle Jeff IS fantastic! I love Christian Amanpour for always going for the jugular in her reporting. Then again, I'm for anyone who has an intense passion for the truth.

Adaure said...

Glad you all like the post. For a minute there I thought naija folks hated Jeff because much of what I have seen of the african perspective written about his reporting has been negative. He is doing a fabulous work and I am glad ya'll noticed.

magiri said...

ok what ican say about jeff as in i knew him even before he became prominent in kenya not personaly, when i was growinh up everybody like the news to listen to him as he has a way to captivate the audience,to bring out the real picture of the story.
what else can i say am proud of him he is tryin to bring whats is happening in africa both the level of corruption and also heridity of african culture as much as africans will say that we are not represented well .
Dah we can see what african leaders are doing to us, history is repeating itself ae we going to continue to blame colonialism and yet to day i am doing nothing to remove the log ion my eyes .Jeff kudos do what a man gat to do

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