Another day, another article in the African Executive. Though, this time, I can’t actually say that the article is entirely intellectually bankrupt. It’s more simply incoherent, with a vast side-order of unwarranted entitlement. But then, seeing as the magazine doesn’t seem to have a consistent editorial policy, I suppose it must have been one of the better articles submitted to it this week.
Ian Macdonald is apparently the editor of the South Africa Good News. It’s a fairly safe bet that my cynical hellbound soul had not heard of them previously. Nevertheless, I did feel the need to take issue with a number of issues raised in Ian’s article.
For starters, it was only after reading the article in its entirety that one realised that it was a cunning piece of advertorial for e.tv and Africa the Good News (I’m being super-bitchy and not providing an additional link) which has only just been recently launched.
Second, the article was only a retread of the “boo-hoo, poor me” comment that appears often in African media, complaining that the Western press only pays attention to crises on the continent, not realising that if Western interests weren’t at stake, there would be no reporting at all. Have you heard about Southern Ossetia recently? I have, but only because the Eurovision Song Concert will be happening soon.
The fact remains, media players, bloggers and private individuals with contacts abroad already have the power to be spreading the good news about things happening in Africa. The only reason it hasn’t happened is because: (a) it’s not impressive enough, and (b) not enough people care to become the continent’s cheerleaders. Besides, we all know that the first bit of good news will be countered by the problems we haven’t got round to dealing with yet.
What puzzles me is why the African Executive, for a “professional” magazine, continues to offer up what is basically personal comment for our delectation. I am now a member of an editorial team, and though I am given a vast amount of leeway, would never consider using an alternative website as my own personal platform. Conversely, AE seems to positively encourage its contribtors to do precisely that. This is a shame, as it not only hints at a lack of editorial standards, but also reflects badly on the website as a whole.
As such, I’d like to hear from anyone who has contributed to the African Executive in the past, or who may have been considering it for the future. You can always guest-post here, or at Kenya Imagine. All I can say is while we may not seem as impressive, we do have a more credible editorial policy.
[Image by MeeMoo]