A continent, not a country…

March 1, 2010

Italian hostage in Africa heard in Internet appeal

MAURITANIA/ROME (Reuters) – An Italian hostage who was seized with his wife in eastern Mauritania in December has urged Prime Minister Silvo Berlusconi to intervene to secure their release in an audio clip posted on the Internet.

I am curious as to the headline used in this story “Italian hostage in Africa . . .”

It is wrong given that the specific country is known, i.e. Mauritania, and also another form of the media’s misrepresentation of the continent, given its diverse people and countries.

It is also insulting if not ignorant to say the hostage is in over 50 countries. Please be kind to the continent, and stop piling negative images on it.

Otherwise, thanks for the news.

K. S.

I understand your point and support headline specificity as much as possible, but Mauritania is a fairly long word for a headline. The lede of the story makes very clear where the hostage was seized: GBU Editor

A boy carries loaves of bread at the 5th Quarter market in Nouakchott December 5, 2009. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

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I think what K. S. was trying to say, GBU Editor, is that your headline in and of itself is incomprehensible. Add the “article” that follows, and it becomes meaningless.

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