There is the arm's-length survey obtained from books such as Samantha Nutt's moving Damned Nations, a critical look at foreign aid, and Gary Geddes's achingly earnest Drink the Bitter Root. And there are the novels:
Precisely how much coverage does Africa receive? These sweeping statements are then seemingly supported with an anecdote or example -- usually drawing on the very worst recent examples of coverage.
The argument then quickly moves on to offering explanations for this 'negative' coverage. Reference is usually made to geopolitical interests and journalistic routines and practices.
The narrative ends with an appeal for future coverage to better reflect the 'true' face of Africa.
This narrative has changed little over the years. Indeed, in his most recent article, Wainaina continues to attribute the framing of news coverage of Africa to the end of the Cold War, claiming that, for the West, "big history died with the Berlin wall, there is only little history left to report on Africa.
How does this vary over time, between different media outlets and between different regions and countries within Africa? What measure is being used to judge the quantity of coverage? Is the apparent use of stereotypes to cover Africa peculiar to this continent or are they not simply a feature of news coverage of all parts of the world -- or indeed, news coverage in general.
In other words, is there something about coverage of Africa that is emphatically 'worse' than anywhere else?
If so, in what particular contexts does this appear? Where do counter-discourses appear? I first made this point in an article in which concluded, based on the results of a quantitative analysis of UK newspaper coverage of Africa, that, rather surprisingly, coverage was "not as marginalised, negative or trivial as it is often accused of being.
Rather, it is an entirely empirical question. And this question continues to remain unanswered.Binyavanga Wainaina’s “How to Write About Africa”, the inspiration behind my updated guidance, highlights the preconceptions and clichés shrouding Africa and .
May 09, · In , Binyavanga Wainaina published a brilliantly sarcastic essay in Granta called “How to Write About Africa,” advising people on how to sound spiritual and compassionate while writing a.
Wainaina is best known for a essay called How to Write About Africa. It had its genesis as a cranky e-mail to the editors of Granta and became the most widely read piece the literary magazine. 8/28/12 AM Page 1 | How to Write about Africa | Granta The View from Africa | Archive | Granta Magazine Page 2 of 4 and grubs and all manner of game meat.
Make sure you show that you are able to eat such food without flinching, and describe how you learn to enjoy it —because you care. This trio of sharp-witted essays takes irony to a new level.
In 'How to Write About Africa', Wainaina dissects the cliché of Africa and the preconceptions dear to /5. Originating in a fiercely satirical protest sent by a Kenyan-born author to the editors of Granta, this essay has turned Wainaina into the unofficial ‘censor’ of white writing about Africa and has spawned a whole series of imitative ‘How To Write About’ essays satirising the contemporary clichés attached to various developing countries.