Mediated Culture and the Well-informed Global Citizen

Images of Africa in the Global North

Kristin Skare Orgeret 1
  • 1 Dr.Art., Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Media and Communication, Oslo University College


During recent years, considerable attention has been paid to the negative portrayal of the African continent in the media of the so-called ‘global North’. Significantly less focus has been put on how to actually represent Africa in the news as more than the site of catastrophes or in other ways than through sunshine stories of the ‘struggling but smiling African’. The present article argues that the lack of a wide range of different genres in the North’s mediated representations of Africa is problematic, because the ‘hard news’ we receive is deficient in information about the background and context of news event. The article looks into different cultural expressions such as film, television entertainment and literature to explore how they can play a role in illustrating the concept of ‘Africa’ as both diverse and multifaceted. It argues that opening the northern mediascape to more content from the south would serve as an important backdrop and help in understanding a variety of messages from the African continent.

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