15 March 2019

Africa: AP - This Is Why We Didn't Mention Kenya, Ethiopia in Our Tweet On Crash

Photo: @AP/Twitter
The Associated Press tweet about the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

The Associated Press (AP) has explained why they did not mention Kenya and Ethiopia in a viral tweet that reported on the nationalities of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crash last Sunday.

The said tweet, which was slammed as racist, only mentioned Canadians, Chinese, Americans, Italians, Indians, French, British, Egyptians, despite Kenya having suffered the highest casualties.

But Lauren Easton, Director of Media Relations at AP, acknowledged told Nairobi News, that the agency had already reported that Kenyans and Ethiopians had died in the crash, and that the tweet was only providing additional information about the nationalities of other people on board.

BREAKING: Authorities say Canadians, Chinese, Americans, Italians, Indians, French, British, Egyptians among those killed in Ethiopian plane crash. -- The Associated Press (@AP) March 10, 2019

"The tweet reflected the new development about the other nationalities," said Easton.

Nairobi News, however, found no tweets on AP's timeline to support her assertion.

She added that AP has published and plans to continue publishing stories focusing on the trauma of Kenya and Ethiopia.

The Sunday crash killed 157, 32 of them Kenyans; Canada 18, Ethiopia nine, China and Italy eight, France and Britain seven, Egypt six.

At least four victims carried UN passports.

Four Indians, three Russians, two Moroccans, two Israelis, one Belgian, one Ugandan, one Yemeni, one Sudanese, one Togolese, one Mozambican and one Norwegian also perished.

There were at least 35 nationalities on board and regrettably Kenya had the highest number, with 32 passengers.

As usual, Kenyans on Twitter voiced their concerns.

Wow... these authorities don't see Africans? Do better @AP. Do better. -- Wanjiru Gaitho (@shirogaitho) March 11, 2019

You just keep creating these gratuitous moral quandaries. Weren't there more Kenyans on the plane than any other nationality? Even in death you are going to introduce a hierarchy of value? Or it's just an oversight or we should take for granted there were Africans on the flight? -- W. Gyude Moore (@gyude_moore) March 10, 2019

Kenyans ... ? Why are Kenyans missing from this list n it's the biggest number? -- Otieno M. O. (@olotieno) March 10, 2019

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