“War and Drought Are Bringing

Famine in Sudan”


The New York Times

January 3, 1988



Nearly a million people sat starving in southern Sudan.  The government could not or chose not to do anything to prevent it.  As for the cause, Reuters, in typical news agency style, simply repeats the proclamations of the government of Sudan that finger rebel actions as the cause of the starvation.  All that is depicted is desolation but no examination of the causes (with the exception of “rebels”).  Nowhere in this discussion does Reuters discuss Sudan’s export of foodstuffs.  The starvation of almost a million people is a mystery after reading this article except for stating, “no one is planting anymore”.  Absent is a discussion of why agricultural production has been ignored.

Furthermore, the New York Times only interviews government officials or aid organization officials.  There is no discussion from the people or the rebel’s point of view.  The citizenry is presented as bloodthirsty, lazy, and stupid.  In fact, the only anecdote is of an attack of an aid worker for telling the crowd that there was no food.


            ~Matt Culler