Kony: Buzzword of the Week Within College Media– and the Rest of the Web World

Kony 2012,” an activist documentary of sortsfeaturing shocking images of kidnapped child soldiers” in Uganda, has gone mega-viral since its Monday premiere.  The video by the charitable organization Invisible Children has apparently “united everyone from college students to celebrities in support for the campaign” to save these youngsters from the alleged brutality of Lord’s Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony.

In recent days, the documentary and campaign have been reported upon and editorialized about by college media outlets throughout the U.S., Canada, and parts of Europe.  A screenshot sampling of student press Kony features and op-eds are below.

The Daily Trojan

“If children were being abducted, forced to join an army, made to watch their families die and having their childhoods taken away, would you try to stop it from happening?”

The Emory Wheel

“No matter the effect ‘Kony 2012’ has had on students, whether arousing outrage, sympathy or anger, it has generated a sense of political activism for human rights issues.  We are glad that individual students have actively been pursuing the issue, which should be important to us as members of a university community that cares deeply about global and human rights issues.”

The Quad News

“Many Quinnipiac students, including the Invisible Children club on campus, are working to spread the word and take part in this movement. A Facebook event titled ‘Kony 2012 @ Quinnipiac University‘ working to rally Quinnipiac students to get together and ‘Cover the Night’ in support of the fight against Kony. However not all Quinnipiac University students are buying into the idea yet.  ‘It’s funny how people see a 30 minute video and suddenly become hardcore humanitarian who will defend their positions without considering anything else,’ said freshman Alex Petakov.”

The Diamondback

“Among university students . . . support for the cause has only continued to grow as more people post the video to their Facebook pages and encourage their friends to watch. ‘You kind of felt the power of how social media has spread the word,’ said junior kinesiology major Chad Simmons, who reposted the video Tuesday.”

The Daily O’Collegian

“While some parts of the world have yet to witness the KONY 2012 phenomenon, Stillwater has already gotten its foot in the door.  OSU students Calyn Blackburn and Temitope Akande have created multiple Facebook groups and pages to support the campaign. Blackburn’s ‘Stop KONY 2012’ group has recruited hundreds of members, while Akande’s ‘Cover the Night’ event is expected to attract up to 6,000 OSU students.”

The University Times

“The arrest of Joseph Kony has been a continuing struggle for the ICC and for Invisible Children, and it seems that this struggle is fast approaching its climax. ‘Justice will define 2012’ is the aspirational claim made by the charity, and their ‘stop at nothing’ approach may just be history in the making. And to those who say to this movement: ‘who are you to end a war?’, Jacob Russell’s challenging reply is: ‘who are you not to?’.”

The Badger Herald

“Upon searching through the archives of The Badger Herald, one will find that the child abduction and child army atrocities in Uganda have had a decent amount of coverage; on average, they’re covered once a year, as they certainly should be. Obviously, there are many problems throughout the world that lack the news coverage they deserve, but few of them are as horrific as abducting children, in many cases forcing those children to kill their own parents and then sending them off to fight for a singular man’s cause.  This man is Joseph Kony.”

NYU Local

“Raising awareness is a necessary step to promote change, but awareness cannot be divorced from action. And in light of Invisible Children’s questionable use of funds, we must question the actions this organization is advocating for.”

The Parthenon

“I’m willing to bet a great deal that the vast majority of young American adults had no idea who Joseph Kony, or the Lord’s Resistance, Army was until roughly a week ago. Unless you’ve got a background understanding of the internal struggles of central Africa, it’s just not something people discussed with any discernible amount of voracity.  Call me a realist, a pessimist or whatever, but something here does not seem as it should.”

The Varsity

“Yes it is fantastically well done . . . but that doesn’t mean we should be drawn in. It is patronizing in the extreme, likening Kony to Darth Vader where all the problems will be solved when he is defeated insults our intelligence. Yes Kony is categorically a ‘bad’ guy. That doesn’t mean that Invisible Children are good because they oppose him. It is vital to remember that the enemy of our enemy is not our friend.”

The State Press

“A troubling aspect of this campaign is the underlying hint of colonialism that many critics are calling attention to. As Americans, we feel some responsibility in solving this problem that doesn’t occur within our borders. . . . Many people clicking the ‘donate’ button for this campaign couldn’t even locate Uganda on a map before a few days ago. If you’re invested in a cause, do your research about where your money goes and whom it benefits.”

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