Archives for May 2011

cover up

Nick Ericsson Nick Ericsson | 16:54 UK time, Thursday, 5 May 2011

Are we in the business of building up the continent or breaking it down? That's a question I was asked by a businessman in Harare a few years back. I was a bit taken back - to say the least. I had been told he was no fan of Robert Mugabe, and so I assumed he would want the media to put more pressure on the Zimbabwean government to reform. In fact, he thought the media in general - and the BBC in particular - was focused on undermining Zimbabwe, and offering nothing constructive to the country.
His words keep coming back to me. What are our responsibilities as journalists? It's not enough just to say we should tell the truth - whose truth? Perhaps it's that we should be as objective as possible.
The debate lives on in our magazine covers. Recently Alison Kingsley-Hall - our managing editor - returned from a business trip to Ghana. There she was told over and over again that our recent cover on Nigeria cast the country in a negative light.

That wasn't our view here. It's fair to say the cover is the most debated, chewed over and thrown about part of the magazine. Our decison to go with this image was that it suggested a country that was vibrant, hardened and hopeful - if a bit dented. What do you think? And should rose-tinted glasses always win the day?

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