Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Reporting Africa
I haven't read the book yet, but the M&G's introduction to Charlayne Hunter-Gault's new book New News Out of Africa makes me want to. Hunter-Gault argues that Africa's sorry state is partly shaped by the image its own people have of the continent, which is largely built by the media. Africa has traditionally been portrayed only in terms of what she calls the "four Ds - death, destruction, disease and despair", and only through a conscious change in reporting will we be able to help to build up Africa, both in the minds of potential investors abroad, and in terms of the African people themselves.

Being an ex-bureau chief for CNN in Africa, this lady knows what she's talking about, and she has had a huge influence on how CNN portrays Africa, building the "Inside Africa" series on CNN and changing the slant of reporting. This has laid a foundation for more positive stories about Africa on CNN, which anyone who saw the recent "Eye on Africa" week-long reporting can attest. The book is available here.