Newswatch, the weekly Nigerian news magazine, has interviewed Bill Kovach, the former curator of the Nieman Journalism Foundation at Harvard University, and the founder of the Committee for Concerned Journalists, CCJ. Earlier in his career Kovach was chief of the New York Times Washington bureau, and executive editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Kovach answers questions about his (54 year long) career to date. Some of the best answers come near the end – on African news coverage, for example:
“[I] think the western world, I don’t know about the rest of the world, but the western world has always thought of Africa as something they had to interprete through their eyes and I always thought that was wrong.
“One of the things I love about the Nieman programme is that back in the 1960s, the Nieman programme refused to take people from South Africa because South African authorities only wanted white. But Harvard told the South African government and owners of the press that whites would be taken only if every other year, we got a black South African. And so, we began to bring into the Nieman programme white South Africans. Every other year, and soon it was every year, more whites and blacks got their chances.”