International outlets should be hiring more local journalists — but these journalists need better pay, more training, and improved equality in their newsrooms at home.

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A man sells newspapers in Cotonou, Benin, in November 2015. Photo by Ricci Shryock, @ricci_s

It was late 2016, and Gambian journalist Sheriff Bojang Junior was glad the world was finally paying attention to his home country’s decades-long struggle under a strongman president. But when voters finally ousted President Yayah Jammeh, Bojang was discouraged to see how many international outlets were getting key facets of the story wrong.

“This is a big problem. As much as you want to understand the country and think you know the country and what is happening in the country, I don’t think one week is enough,” Bojang said from his base in neighboring Senegal, where he worked for a decade in exile from Gambia. He was allowed to return to Gambia in 2017, and now travels frequently between the two countries. …

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