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Truth, Lies & Propaganda: in Africa (Truth, Lies and Propaganda Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Truth, Lies & Propaganda in Africa (Truth, Lies and Propaganda Book 1) by Lucinda E. Clarke is an engaging and powerful memoir that takes readers on a journey from that of a primary school teacher, to announcing on the radio, to scriptwriting for radio and television, and then branching out into the world of video production. The author focuses more on her stint with the SABC, and she gives readers a peek of what it is like to work on radio and television, with humor and wit, and reveals that it is not at all glamorous to work behind the scenes if you are in the media. For all those who want to know what goes on behind the camera, this memoir is a good read and also explains how programmes are put together.
The book is interesting and readers get an insight on what it was like to be an expatriate and live in apartheid, South Africa. The author chronicles many funny incidents she has experienced while working with the media and she speaks about them extensively. The book also throws light on the political world and gives an inside look into the author's entertaining experiences and adventures. I found the author's experiences challenging and she captures the attention of readers with her excellent style of writing and good narration. The memoir is an eye-opener for readers who are caught up in the glamour of radio and television, and many times the author's frustrations and difficulties are palpable while one is reading.
- ASIN : B00QE35BO2
- Publisher : Umhlanga Press; 1st edition (November 29, 2014)
- Publication date : November 29, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 1033 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 253 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1503075540
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,878,749 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I know engineers, for example, who, when unable to find work in their chosen profession, have done other things to earn their daily bread. Some drive taxi cabs, others sell insurance, and a few have gone to law school and are now attorneys who specialize in arcane subjects related to their previous occupations.
Writers, on the other hand, write.
They write regardless of what they are paid, regardless of the conditions they are often forced to work under.
They can't help it.
(I know this first hand, having been a writer for most of my adult life.)
Lucinda E. Clarke is a writer. Even early in her life as a working woman, when she was teaching school or running a riding academy, she wrote.
It didn't matter what: Radio dramas, television scripts, documentaries, textbooks, magazine articles... if it involved putting words on paper (or on a computer screen) Clarke was willing to take on the challenge because, in the end, it meant that she could write.
Just how important writing is to her comes through clearly in her memoir "Truth, Lies & Propaganda: In Africa." She writes, albeit with a light touch, of her adventures working in Libya and South Africa while raising two children and coping with her ex-husband and his penchant for changing jobs with blinding speed. Those must have been difficult days but Clarke tells her story without complaint, reminding the reader often just how privileged she felt that she was able to support herself and her family by doing what she loves best.
Her career and mine are different in many ways. I spent most of my life as a journalist working for newspapers and wire services. Clarke spent most of her career working in radio and television.
But we do share some common ground. Deadlines, bosses that never seemed to know what they wanted, and people who were reluctant to talk with us are just a few.
More than that, however, we share one very important trait: The love of writing.
It is that love that colors our lives in rich, rainbow shades and allows us to withstand the slings and arrows of low pay and everything else up to, and including, the less-than-enthusiastic response of family and friends when they discover that we are bound hand and foot to writing for a living. .
(My father, for example, went to his grave wondering just when - or if - I was ever going to get a "real job.")
Clarke recounts her adventures - both good and bad - with a clear eye for detail but does not bog her narrative down with unnecessary rambling. She also doesn't flinch when recounting the problems she faced as she undertook her assignments and she makes some sharp observations about life in South Africa both during and after apartheid. Her descriptions of the people she met and the places she went put the reader "in the moment" and her narrative flows smoothly from chapter to chapter.
It comes down to this: "Truth, Lies & Propaganda: In Africa" is a well written look at what it takes to be a writer and it is a book that I highly recommend.
This memoire had me completely fascinated and I couldn’t put it down. What an incredible woman Ms. Clark is. As an indie author I often whine to myself about how difficult it is to crack the literary world. After reading Ms Clarks memoire I have realised that I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
I don’t want to sound like a star struck groupie here but honestly Ms Clark’s story has inspired me beyond words. From holding a radio broadcast at bayonet point to typing a 1 hour play without the letter ‘n’ on the typewriter this woman didn’t let anything get in the way of her reaching her goal. Determined, ambitions and passionate are words I would use to describe this amazing author.
I am from South Africa so there were so many memories that cropped up when reading this story; from the Lion Park to adverts seen on TV, I felt as though I walked this journey with Ms Clark and her story has left me inspired beyond words. (I’m repeating myself here – see what I mean about the start struck groupie stuff)
I have no words except maybe, WOW
All her attempts did not fare well. Even with the best intents, the author states "many instances demonstrated ignorance about other cultures." Even some of the government's attempts failed. "Clashes between the modern world and the traditional African way of life, and it’s something many of us were not even aware of." Most often, the author never knew the outcome of her attempts to improve the lives of the poverty-stricken.
Her stories are as many as the topics contained within the Encyclopedia Britannica she bought when she had to learn about cows and chickens for an animal health program. The book is filled with humor, often tongue-in-cheek. I loved the line: "I thought was my best smile, but in return he looked rather startled, so perhaps it was more of a leer."
This is definitely a book you'll want to pick up if you have any interest in the broadcast world or in other cultures.
Top reviews from other countries
This memoir is initially based upon the author’s experiences as the writer of African radio and television programmes, some voluntary and others to order, or perhaps it would be better to say ‘as ordered’. As usual Lucinda’s humorous, self-deprecating, easy style flows carrying the reader along with her as she embarks upon a number of ‘adventures’ in the radio and television world: finding herself not only writing the programmes but also having to produce, organise and carry out most of the support work; eventually, managing her own video production company; and regularly writing for magazines. Throughout the author’s versatility is in clear evidence though she is no way boastful or arrogant about her abilities. Nonetheless, the reader will be impressed by her multiple and varied competences and proficiency: she was also a school teacher for much of the time.
Most of the radio and television programmes were related to social, political and commercial aspects of African culture. The social ones in particular were intended to try and pursued the locals to adopt improved life styles and to utilise modern facilities as the government made them available e.g. electric lighting, indoor toilets, etc. Some commercial enterprises, for who the author was also employed to write and produce, were also geared to the improvement of individual lives, for example, using toothpaste. In relating these the author provides the reader with insight into the living conditions and attitudes of the poor who formed the prevalent portion of the African societies within which she lived and worked.
Lucinda’s accounts clearly show how politicians and commercial enterprises try to manipulate the media. Frequently she tries to bring a balance and to present the information in a more suitable and understandable format, even though the commissioning parties have ordered specific restraints and formats, which were not necessarily easy for locals to understand. Sometimes she gets away with it at other times not. All provide a very interesting insight into how politics and commerce operate and it is not too hard to see the attitudes revealed are probably representative of such behaviour round the world, no matter if a first or third world nation.
To some it may appear, due to the primary subject matter, this would be a dull read. IT IS NOT. It is interesting, relevant and entertaining and shows how, with a determined mind, someone may change situations and circumstances to benefit.
The say the camera doesn’t lie, but we all know that it can. After reading Lies, Truth and Propaganda in Africa we understand how the manipulation and politicking actually works. By sharing her life experience in all these media formats, interspersed with intimate details about what life in South Africa was like under both the Apartheid and post Mandela regimes, Lucinda opens doorways that give us a new and clearer perspective. The distortion of messages required by those commissioning her work was shocking, and the fact that she was obliged to quit the country and make her home in Europe after so many years of loyal service, speaks for itself as testimony to the political bias.
Having said this, it is remarkable that she has managed to deliver such a comprehensive exopsé without resorting to vindictive outrage or to personal criticism of individuals in positions of influence or power. This adds to the believability of her account and makes what is already a fascinating read a very powerful account.
Lucinda E. Clarke is a master wordsmith who never disappoints. She writes in a clear, easy to read style that carries her reader onwards. I have no hesitation in recommending this book to all with an interest in the media or in Africa.
The book focuses on the author's fledgling career in the media, starting in Libya, and moving on to South Africa. Along the way, there are all manner of strange rules and regulations that need to be followed - from the early days in radio, taking care not to play records from a banned lists of artists that may offend for political reasons, to later television productions, where things must be painted in a positive light.
It's a refreshing and interesting change from other memoirs about the media industry, invariably UK and US based.
I'm looking forward to the next volume which I believe is now available.