How the North pictures the neighbouring South: Portuguese press coverage of the Sahrawi conflict | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2040-199X
  • E-ISSN: 1751-7974


This article explores how the media, in a country that used to be a colonial power yet belongs to a relatively peaceful culture, depicts one of the oldest disputes in Africa. Drawing on a three-year analysis of the Portuguese press coverage of the Sahrawi conflict, it also tests some basic foundations of the selective representation of Africa in news reporting: the predominantly one-way traffic of information between the North and the South, as well as a similar imbalance in terms of the nature of the news treatment which tends to focus on negative and deviant issues often portrayed in a highly stereotyped fashion. The study does not corroborate Africa's thinness and invisibility but rather points to the pivotal influence of national context the Portuguese combined with a notable sensitivity towards human rights and self-determination issues in the reporting of a given political process.


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