Friday, June 03, 2005

Geldof's "Live 8" and African Poverty

CNN and Fox both ran two articles each on the announcement of Bob Geldof’s plans for a series of concerts called Live 8 to raise awareness of African poverty. Geldof put on Live Aid for Ethiopian famine relief 20 years ago. “Live 8” is named as such to coincide with the upcoming G8 conference in Scotland. There are several differences of note between the coverage in these two articles:

1. CNN devotes more space using twice as many words (811) as Fox (401).

2. Fox has one 37-word direct quote from Geldof while CNN has 123 words of direct quotes.

3. Fox seems to have just the bare-bone facts and makes only a brief connection with the G8 meeting. In one article it says: “The name "Live 8" is a nod to the G-8 summit, a meeting of the world's leading powers, set to start days later in Scotland.” In the other it says, “The events are aimed at raising awareness of poverty in developing countries just days before G8 leaders meet in Britain.” CNN makes statements stronger than “a nod to the G-8” by saying it is a “concert designed to influence the G8 group of industrialized nations' summit in Scotland” and this statement that “Geldof said the G8 summit presented a unique opportunity "to do something unparalleled in the world, and especially at the beginning of the 21st Century, and that is to tilt the world a little bit on its axis in favor of the poor, and that's not a difficult thing to do."”

4. CNN has information about G8 and African poverty that is not found in Fox’s articles. CNN ends each article with the exact wording as follows (highlight added):

Prime Minister Tony Blair has campaigned to help Africa during Britain's presidency of the G8 this year and will host G8 leaders at a summit in Gleneagles in Scotland in July.

But campaigners fear discord between G8 nations on debt reduction and aid spending plans, combined with reluctance in Washington, will wreck Blair's ambitions.

They warn African schools and hospitals could receive no new money from the lavish summit, which could cost as much as £100 million ($180 million) to stage.

"We are really concerned that we're a long, long way away from any kind of breakthrough on tackling poverty in Africa," said Oxfam policy adviser Max Lawson.

Links to articles:,2933,158137,00.html,2933,158075,00.html

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