Seeing Celeb in Africa
Bono, I Presume? Covering Africa Through Celebrities
By Julie Hollar
Extra! May/June 2007
“Africa is sexy and people need to know that,” declared U2 singer Bono (New York Times, 3/5/07), promoting his new (RED) line of products that propose to save Africa one iPod at a time.
Celebrity interest in Africa is not particularly new, but today more stars than ever seem to be converging upon the continent, with television crews seldom far behind. But, as Bono clearly understands, what media tend to find sexy about Africa is not Africa itself, but the stars like himself who have taken up causes in the region. In television news in particular, with its typically cursory treatment of subjects and emphasis on the visual, African countries and issues are to a striking degree seen through the prism of celebrity.
Read this and more from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) at Extra! online.