“Media ‘Demonize’ African Religions ” Richard Potts, The Media Project, 24 June 2011

“Religion in the media’ refers to situations in which ‘outsiders’ discuss, report, or put information about religion in the media Media religion on the other hand refers to situations in which religious authorities, communities or their representatives either practice their religion through media or purposely place information about their activities in the media. ”

The autonomy of African Traditional religions puts it at a disadvantage when media reportage is concerned because there is no general authority.Thus what we know about African Traditional religions are from outsiders;the result is that the image of traditional religions has not been a very positive one. The demonization of traditional religions as the sources of evil spirits and powers means its functionaries are also imaged in the media as agents of the devil and witches. The portrayal of African Traditional religion as dubious ways to get money has led to the suspicion of wealthy people for either using their manhood to get rich or their children’s sanity. The beliefs the public has concerning African Traditional religion is not helped by the media as seen in films like Living in Bondage where a man sacrificed his wife for riches.These story lines in African movies are sustained in the public imagination by its real occurrences that published in mainstream media. Stories about witchcraft and the occult have great commercial value and the more the public buys into it the more the ideas are reinforced.Traditional religion itself does not endorse witchcraft, but in the process of demonization, it is generally believed that those who seek help from those sources end up with negative supernatural powers like witchcraft. The media provides symbolic resources with which we form ideas about our social world, religion and spirituality are a vital part of that meaning-making. African Traditional religions have some aspects which were admired by Christian missionaries unfortunately, it had been made to seem as dubious and messenger of the devil which has led to negligence toward other merits of the African religion to the society.

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“Media ‘Demonize’ African Religions ” Richard Potts, The Media Project, 24 June 2011

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