Tag Archives: BBC

Africa in primetime: What is the BBC telling the British public?

Two months ago, there was David Attenborough’s wildlife documentary series, Africa. Two weeks ago was a Comic Relief film set largely in South Africa and Mozambique. And last week there was the Top Gear Africa special, in Uganda and Tanzania. Three BBC shows, all firmly in the mainstream of UK media, bringing Africa to a mass popular audience in primetime slots – these were not obscure and worthy BBC4 documentaries. So how did they portray the continent?

The trailer for David Attenborough’s latest series had stunning landscapes, beautifully shot and teeming with wildlife. And, at the end, a three-word voice-over: “This is Africa.”

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The Tanzanian media has had a bad crisis

It seems I wasn’t entirely fair when I recently complained about the inaccuracy of a couple of photos circulating around Tanzania’s social media scene following the tragic MV Spice Islander disaster. The mainstream media has done no better.

First, a brief reminder. The photos below are not of the MV Spice Islander, but rather photos from previous ferry tragedies elsewhere in the world, and yet they were both posted widely on facebook, twitter and various blogs over the weekend of the disaster. For an explanation of where the photos were originally taken, see my earlier post.

Yes, the social media users I highlighted got it wrong, but then so did several mainstream media outlets, many of which have published the first of these photos in print and/or online. Continue reading