Date of Award

5-1-2010

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Motyl, Howard

Abstract

This paper retraces the transformative journey I went on as a media-maker in Liberia. I talk about my expectations before landing in Liberia and how my prejudices were confronted and transformed. I explain how I first worked with a family and later made a movie about their lives. I discuss the many questions raised by me, as a Westerner, making media in and about one of sub-Saharan Africa's poorest countries. Using personal experiences and observations, as well as, academic studies about media coverage of Africa, I argue that the Western media fails to reasonably cover Africa. I ask media-makers, specifically Western media-makers, to do something about it. I suggest that media-makers look for stories beyond those that continue to make the headlines, and develop a brand new, more balanced approach when creating media in foreign settings, particularly in Africa.

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