1. Is Mass-media doing enough to provide us with a real insight into African life while also reporting on events in Africa as they occur?
I actually agree; the media is doing their best to show us, both the good and the bad side of Africa. Nonetheless, I feel more can be done when it comes to reporting on events as they occur in Africa; particularly with regards to providing us with substantial & in depth knowledge as often what is shown can be very one sided! But then you have to ask yourself; do we get a real insight on other continents ? And is it really the Western media’s duty to provide this information about Africa?
2. “Stereotypes play an important role in helping us make sense of the world, and are not necessarily lies”….What are some of the most common representations of Africa in the media?
I do agree with the statement above, as more than often stereotypes are often true, and that is why people find them offensive. That being said however, sometimes it can be wrong to also stereotype based on simply what you hear and see around you, as you may not be exposed to the entire reality. Common stereotypes about Africa in the media are that the continent is poverty stricken and corrupted. If I am being completely honest, unfortunately, this in a way influences and to some extent reinforces my perception of Africa.
3. Is there a pressing need to alter western portrayal of Africa?
I think there is a need, not necessarily crucial though as I am sure Africans have their own perceptions of the western world also; which may not necessarily be true so I guess it works both ways. However I do think it is important that the western world should make a conscious effort to refrain from constantly portraying Africa in a negative image. I definitely agree that film, media and entertainment is the best way to do this, as it will capture people’s attention easily. I do think recently the “African” music industry is doing very well in altering this perception, however it would be great to also do this through other platforms