Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm a celebrity....

By some coincidence both the Guardian and Independent media sections are running stories today about what can happen when celebrities, the media and aid work all get involved with each other - and they both provide a fascinating insight. In the Independent Marina Cantucuzino ( writes about her trip to Addis Ababa with Rupert Everett - and how he ended up writing about her in his autobiography Red Carpet and Other Banana Skins. There's various amusing incidents she recounts of her time with various celebrities - and she's honest about what journalists are often after - the hope that a celeb will spill the beans on their own life later in the trip.
She asks a serious question though:

the question that the celebrity, the charity worker and the journalist must all ask themselves is, will these people's lives improve because I am here? The answer, I believe, is yes- but not immediately and perhaps not to those people specifically. Money is donated to programmes, awareness is raised, and readers start to think of Ethiopia or Laos or Brazil as more than just holiday destination

Meanwhile in the Guardian Sue Ryan spills the beans on what happened when Unicef took Jemima Khan to Pakistan a year on from the Pakistani earthquake (,,1928722,00.html) - and how what can seem ideal can go wrong. Amidst the trials and tensions of conflicting journalist/aid worker demands, Ryan is left uncomfortable by the fact that Khan finally appears in the Evening Standard wearing a £15,000 outfit - the danger is she feels is that it looks like a fashion shoot with a collage of disaster pictures in the middle.

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