Tuesday, December 25, 2012

DR Congo: Who the fuck is Melissa Stusinski ?


The Inquisitr reports

DR Congo Boat Sinks, 140 Feared Dead

Posted: December 24, 2012

By Melissa Stusinski

A boat sank on a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday, leaving 140 feared dead, according to officials in the African country.

The accident occurred on the Kasai River, which is a tributary of the Congo river, in the province of Bandundu. Lambert Mende, the country’s information minister, stated that the vessel was overloaded when it capsized and that 80 people have already been confirmed dead.

As an Africa watcher and in particular a DR Congo watcher this story came at me out of left field. I was looking for more information on the maritime accident of the 21/12/12, that most would be aware of and is reported via CNN below. Interestingly I turned up this on the accident Melissa reports as breaking news.

It was overloaded and sank outside the town of Mangutuka, about 74 miles east of Kinshasa, the capital, said Lambert Mende, the government information minister. He said the river was unusually low at the time the boat ran aground.

The problem for Melissa is that this was reported by Associated Press July 30 2010. There are many other reports confirming the July 30 2010 report but I can't find one confirming Melissa's story of last Wednesday.

The BBC reports that the Democratic Republic of Congo has few roads and rail links because of decades of conflict in the region. Because of this, people often travel on overloaded boats.

That she is citing the BBC to confirm the blindingly obvious about the DR Congo transport network caught my attention to say the least.

Mende stated that the river level was low at the time of the accident and that the accident was caused when the boat hit a mud bank.

Officials have recovered 76 survivors of the 180 official passengers it had been carrying. He added, however, that several more people likely boarded the boat illegally for a trip down the river.

So the question is who the fuck is Melissa Stusinski ?

Melissa grew up in the Seattle area, but moved to Indiana to attend Anderson University in 2005 and was editor at the school's Literary Arts Magazine for two years. When she is not writing for The Inquisitr, Melissa loves to read, crochet, make jewelry, and work on cars. Follow Melissa on Google+ and Twitter . [Contact: Melissainquisitr@gmail.com]

At the risk of sounding nasty and quite probably a misogynist, the journalistic world would be better served if Ms Stusinski stuck to crochet or jewelry making, in fact learning how to read would actually be a large step forward for her.

Melissa has been in touch with me and I accept her assertion.

" At the same time, before making the assertion that, "in fact learning how to read would actually be a large step forward for her," I would request that you read other articles I have written. In doing so, you may change your mind and see that this situation is an incredibly rare one."

CNN notes that another boat accident occurred on Friday along the Congo River near Maluku, in which nine people are confirmed dead.
Officials report that about 100 people are still missing in that accident in which more than 200 people survived. The vessel was carrying several tons of merchandise and went down when it struck an obstacle.

This of course was the story I was interested in finding out more about and there is little new information available in English as yet. French news sites might well provide further insight. I could forgive Melissa if I thought she had genuinely confused the two stories but clearly she hasn't. She styles herself as a journalist, if she was a blogger again I would be far more forgiving.
Papy Epiano, the mayor of Maluki, stated that authorities had yet to obtain a copy of the ship’s manifest because “we haven’t seen the general or the commander.” Epiana addd, “We have recovered nine bodies since Friday.”

Boat accidents are not uncommon along the rivers of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The only news of any value in the Inquisitr report by Melissa is from CNN. She offers no opinion, she shows no research skills. It is not my habit to attack the media ( politicians are far better game ) but Melissa prove me wrong or issue a correction and an apology to the people of the DR Congo. They are poorly served by politicians, they have a right to expect better from the fourth estate and new media.

I would have been happier if Melissa had acknowleged the error in her update.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Fuck! I might have got it wrong.

    Melissa has contacted me and assures me she has updated the article. She also said some other things that do not reflect well on my words on her abilities. She may well be right.

    On reflection I should have contacted Melissa before I published. I apologise to Melissa for not contacting her first and it is fairly obvious my "learn how to read " line is also bollicks so I apologise for that.
    The hard bit.

    I am sorry Melissa.