21
Aug
09

Why is Africa poor? London

In this post Mark is taken by the many responses he’s receiving from you and speaks about blogging for the first time.

I’m finding this a bit weird. It’s the first time I’ve written a blog and its such a different sort of journalism from the style I’m used to.

It’s great to be interacting so directly and quickly with the audience, but who am I interacting with? In the past, in response to TV, radio or BBC Online pieces, people have of course written in with their comments.

My favourite comment was when I lived in Lagos, Nigeria and I was writing about trying to get to an appointment to play tennis with a friend. I got stuck in a massive “Go-Slow” as they call traffic jams in Nigeria and almost missed playing altogether. A kindly Nigerian lady – who gave her address and telephone number – wrote to wonder why on earth I had chosen to play at that particular club – and went on to name several Lagos clubs much nearer my point of departure which would welcome a visiting member!

But here on the blog I am looking at comments from people who I have no idea about. Some are even anonymous. Who are these people? Where are they?

Some admit to being in California or elsewhere; some say they are African. But Africans where? In the diaspora? On the continent? What is their motivation?

When interviewing people for radio or TV I like to look in their eyes – or smile, or look blank, as appropriate – to elicit comments or answers.

But right here, now – blogging – I only have my keyboard and my screen to look at.

Thank you for your comments anyway. I was really pleased to get them as I embark on a journey to ask “Why is Africa Poor”. But as I’m a novice at this blogging game I’m just not sure how to react.

Also, at the moment, I’m afraid I don’t have time.

I have risen very early on a Sunday morning to tap this out because it’s the last day in the UK for me before leaving for Liberia on a reporting trip for the series. And today I am taking my son to play football. So I hope you will forgive me if I read your comments in detail later.


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