Kenya: Storm as NYT Hunts for Journalist to Write About 'The Darkness of Africa'

The New York Times has advertised a vacancy for the Nairobi Bureau Chief position, but it is the job description that has sparked a storm on social media.

The job ad published on LinkedIn on Wednesday has so far seen more than 30 applicants apply for the position.

"Our Nairobi bureau chief has a tremendous opportunity to dive into news and enterprise across a wide range of countries, from the deserts of Sudan and the pirate seas of the Horn of Africa, down through the forests of Congo and the shores of Tanzania," part of the ad reads.

It describes the region as a "strategically important territory with many vital story lines, including terrorism, the scramble for resources, the global contest with China and the constant push-and-pull of democracy versus authoritarianism".


The ideal candidate should enjoy jumping on news, be willing to cover conflict, and also be drawn to investigative stories.

Many social media users were vexed by NYT's obsession for a journalist to 'cover conflict' and 'unexpected stories of hope' in the region.

Here is what people on social media thought about the NYT ad.

If you are rearing to apply for this .@nytimes Nairobi Bureau chief job you should know what kind of stories New York Times is looking for! The darkness of Africa

- George Njoroge (@georgenjoroge_) July 4, 2019

Hard to distinguish this @nytimes ad for a Nairobi Bureau Chief from a call to join a 19th Century expedition with Livingstone & Stanley - H/T @kopalo

-- Travis Adkins (@TravisLAdkins) July 3, 2019

The ⁦@nytimes⁩' job ad for Nairobi bureau chief says a lot about the kinds of stories they want from Eastern Africa...

-- Ken Opalo (@kopalo) July 3, 2019

When someone sent me this New York Times advert, I had to read it twice just to confirm that the kind of journalist they are looking for is one who would just focus on the negative news in this region. 🤦♂️

-- Oliver Mathenge (@OliverMathenge) July 3, 2019

Requirements to work as @nytimes journalist in Africa. You have the ability to focus on the negative and "occasional good news".

Aptly describing most Foreign correspondents in Africa.

-- Kayode Ogundamisi (@ogundamisi) July 3, 2019

Unexpected stories of hope.

That is how much @nytimes despise Africa.

-- Peter Nile🇳🇬 (@PeterNile9) July 4, 2019

Thought it was from Breitbat News. @nytimes could easily settle for a white supremacist with/without any other requisite skills. @kot

-- Tomno Dominic (@dtomno) July 4, 2019

As an East African/Tanzanian subscriber I'm not pleased. @nytimes this, like last week's article with a gratuitous photo of Oscar and Valeria Martinez' dead bodies frustrates me so much. I will just repost this

-- Aida Sykes (@AidaMSykes) July 4, 2019

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