U.S. Media Portrayal of Africa – Only Highlights the Worst of Continent

Common Misconception: The entire continent of Africa is Poverty stricken and AIDS infested.

Why must we only hear about the worst of Africa including the starving children and spreading of AIDS? What about the beautiful wildlife living in the African safari or the proactive approaches people are taking to stop the spread of deadly diseases? How often is positive news about Africa broadcasted in the U.S.?


Truth: Between 1999 and 2000 more people died of AIDS in Africa than in all the wars fought on the continent. It has been reported that each day, 6,000 Africans die from AIDS and each day, an additional 11,000 are infected.

The mission statement of UNAIDS states: “UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, is an innovative partnership that leads and inspires the world in achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.”

Fortunately, UNAIDS reported a 52% decrease in new HIV infections among children. The organization also reported a combined 33% decline amongst adults and children since 2001. Although these statistics were recorded, no U.S. broadcast system publicized these facts or statistics. Why is that?

What about BBC?


“The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcasting statutory corporation. Its main responsibility is to provide impartial public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.”

BBC, unlike most U.S. broadcasting corporations which only focus on the negative aspects of Africa, instead shed light on the nondestructive sides of the continent. It realizes that Africa is diverse and does not only consist of poverty and AIDS but is also made up of different regions which have been attempting to tackle AIDS in different ways.

Did you know…?

South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa and is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank. It is considered to be a newly industrialized country with its economy being the largest and most developed in Africa.


Fun Fact: Actress Charlize Theron was born in South Africa.                                                           charlize_theron_38-wide

Another fact about Africa that the U.S. media failed to show:

  • Uganda, which is a country located in East Africa and Senegal, which is a country located in West Africa, have been successes when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS.



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