Africa in the Media: Past, Present, and Future

Veronica Hall, History, Cochrane Collegiate Academy

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This unit will focus on bridging the gap between reality and perception. Historically, images of Africa are those of an underdeveloped, poor, and starving continent. How did these images come to be prevalent among the media? Why do we as Westerners not know about all of the extraordinary people, places, and cultures this continent has to offer? Is it the fault of the media who tend to display more negative views of Africa to people, or is it the fault of the Africans who have allowed themselves to be portrayed in a negative light? This unit’s purpose is to show students the history behind the negative images portrayed by Western journalists, how some things have changed and stayed the same, and to see how this new era of information overload and technological advances in media has helped and hindered the ideas of Africa by the general populations of countries in the West.