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El Nino and Famine in Africa: Is Media Just? by CityTech blogger Viki Bailey

Slider Photo Credit: ABC News

Featured Photo Credit: blog.frontiergap.com

When I see a picture like the one in this blog, I see someone lionizing their image by posing next to a famine country. Many countries in East Africa like Ethiopia are battling crippling drought caused by record El Nino disturbances. However, the picture says to me: “I am fulfilling my community service and that is it.” I see someone taking advantage of this famine country, but I don’t see the money this person gave to help the famine situation. It may be that David Muir, the person in the featured picture, is trying to raise money by posing with the kids of Africa to bring attention to the situation.  Or is it, as I think, someone is praising their ability to seek attractive media experiences? I agree with the statement that “Today the images and stories coming out of Africa are similarly heartbreaking.” Is someone like Mr. Muir posing with the people from that country to bring attention to the situation? I have a very hard time thinking of the image in that way. My defiance comes from encountering the two personalities of ABC staff.  I once visited the filming of Good Morning America Times Square and was excited to be around the staff of the show. After hanging around the area during filming for weeks, I saw first-hand how pretentious the cast was. While they were on TV you get compassionate, concern, sensitivity, and a willingness to help. When they were off camera the brashness of “don’t bother me,” the numbness of “I am off air now”, the “I don’t have to put on a show now, and the “get away from me the cameras are not rolling” was there. There are two dissimilar people: the on air personality and the off air creature. I wonder which personality is in the picture?

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