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Adam Nossiter to Speak on "Covering Africa for The New York Times" Dec. 9

Adam Nossiter in Mali

Journalist Adam Nossiter on assignment in Mali (2012).

Adam Nossiter, West and Central Africa bureau chief for The New York Times, will speak on “Covering Africa for The New York Times: Journalism from the Bottom,” on Tuesday, Dec. 9 at Pomona College, as part of the Africa Initiative “Voices on Africa Series.” The 5:30 p.m. talk will be held in the Blue Room (Frank Dining Hall, 260 E. Bonita Ave., Claremont).

As bureau chief, Nossiter is responsible for the news coverage from more than 25 countries in West and Central Africa, from Algiers to Brazzaville. A journalist for nearly 30 years, Nossiter says he’s found the most effective journalism on the African continent is practiced from the bottom up.

“The picture that seems closest to the truth comes from ordinary citizens on the street, often encountered at random, and not from high officials, ministers in fancy suits, coup leaders, etc. Officialdom in Africa—perhaps more so than elsewhere—habitually distorts and turns away from what is real,” Nossiter says.

For those in power, Nossiter says that an American journalist is often an unwelcome figure, a nuisance and perhaps worse.

“But for the ordinary African citizen, struggling (usually) against a world of obstacles, some of them life-threatening, I am often a welcome presence—a potential mouthpiece in a universe of indifference.”

Nossiter is the author of The Algeria Hotel: France, Memory and the Second World War (2001), which was named a New York Times Notable Book and listed on the Book Sense 76 Independent Booksellers recommended list. His book Of Long Memory: Mississippi and the Murder of Medgar Evers (1994) was also a New York Times Notable Book.

In addition to The New York Times, Nossiter has been a reporter for The Associated Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, St. Petersburg Times and The Anniston Star.

The “Voices of Africa Series” is part of the five-year Pomona College Africa Initiative, which through guest speakers, performers and a visiting African scholar each spring, highlights the continent’s ever-increasing importance, its emerging economies, and the vital role the region plays on the international stage. For more information, contact: pierre.englebert@pomona.edu.

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