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General News of Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Source: myjoyonline

How the international media reported Mills' death

The demise of Ghana’s President, the late John Evans Atta Mills has seemingly taken the world by shock. It is not usual that a sitting president would die, but when it happens the news certainly dominates international headlines. Mills’ death was not any different.

As the news broke, many international media houses were initially skeptical about the development obviously coming against the back drop that there have been previous rumours about his death.

Wikipedia was among the first sites to have made public the news about the unfortunate incident. They updated Attah Mills’ page to: John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills (21 July 1944 – 24 July 2012) was the third President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana. He died of cardiac arrest on 24 July 2012 at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.

Shortly afterwards, BBC also latched onto the information, they wrote: Ghana's President John Atta Mills dies. BBC further went on to say: Ghana's President John Atta Mills, who was suffering from throat cancer, has died in hospital in the capital, Accra.

International news giants CNN, also reported the news which carried a photo taken of Mills addressing a UN session. The story carried a rather brief heading:President of Ghana dies, official says. The president of the West African nation of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, has died, government officials said Tuesday. Mills died suddenly at a military hospital Tuesday afternoon a few hours after becoming ill, Chief of Staff John Henry Martey Newman said in a statement. He was 68.

Reuters also had the news. Their heading was not much different from what the rest of the news websites that carried it. Ghana President Mills dies, VP to replace him: Ghana's President John Atta Mills, who won international praise as leader of a stable model democracy in Africa, died suddenly on Tuesday and will be succeeded by his vice-president in the West African oil, gold and cocoa producer, officials said. Mills was 68. The unexpected death of the leader of the world's No. 2 cocoa grower comes months before he was due to stand for re-election in December.

The UK’s Guardian took up the story relating it with the disbelief it caused among the citizens.Ghanaian president's sudden death shocks country: John Atta Mills was weeks away from finishing his first term as president when he died of an unspecified illness in Accra. The news follows weeks of speculation about his health after a decline in public appearances and a trip to the US for medical reasons which the president insisted was for a "routine check-up".

The AFP website captured the news: Ghana president dies after illness, months ahead of vote: Ghana President John Atta Mills died suddenly Tuesday hours after being taken ill and months before a vote in which he was to seek re-election in the country seen as a bastion of democracy in West Africa.

The 68-year-old Mills, who oversaw the start of large-scale oil production in Ghana in December 2010, had recently traveled to the United States for a medical check-up, but the cause of death remained unclear.

The Wall Street Journal was also not left out in the coverage of the unfortunate incident. However, there was obvious uncertainty in their reportage. Ghana's President Is Reported to Have Died: State-run television in Ghana is announcing that President John Atta Mills has died at age 68. Ghanaian President John Evans Ghanaian television stations GTV and TV3 broke into regular programming Tuesday to announce the death of the president, who was in his first term in office.

The Financial Times’ report on the event was somehow cynical and rather focused on the health of the late former President Mills. They wrote: Ghana’s ailing president dies: President John Atta Mills of Ghana died in hospital in Accra on Tuesday, aged 68. He had been suffering from throat cancer but his death was unexpected.Mills, who has been Ghana’s head of state since 2009, had been back and forth to the US for medical treatment in recent months and had been visibly ailing for more than a year. Ruling party officials had hoped that he would recover to stand as planned in what are expected to be closely fought presidential elections in December. carried the story with brief heading as well a rather short body. They wrote: Ghana President John Atta Mills dies: The President of Ghana, John Atta Mills, has died, according to a statement from his office. The official release says the 68-year-old leader passed away hours after being taken ill. He recently had a medical check in the US.

The writer of this piece would want to acknowledge the following sources:,,,,,, and