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?
Unfortunately, I believe the media is not doing enough to portray Africa accurately. It was not until developing personal relations with people from Africa that I learnt what it is really like there. The media concentrates on poverty and corruption as well as economic troubles. However, Africa has many beautiful cultures and traditions. Although western media may not concentrate on African current affairs, you can easily find out by doing your own research.
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 agree with this statement to an extent. Stereotypes always have foundations in some sort of truth. However it is extremely ignorant to believe every person in a certain group is the same. Stereotypes should never hinder you from getting to know a person or group of people. The continent of Africa has a stereotype that every country is in poverty and the leaders are all corrupt. The media also doesn’t show cities/civilisations in Africa making it appear like all areas are rural.
3. Is there a pressing need to alter western portrayal of Africa?
The media needs to find a way to show western news while also reporting current affairs in Africa and the other continents. However, more important than the media is meeting and developing your own relationships, doing your own research and travelling to these places before you make any judgements. Even if western media were to change their portrayal of Africa, there would still be many ignorant views about the continent. It would also be useful if the entertainment sector could find a way to make shows/movies that portray Africa in an accurate light, as this would sub-consciously affect people’s image of Africa.