The paper argues that over the past thirty years there has been a steady decline in the attention Western media have given to reporting Africa. And the end of the cold war has exacerbated this lack of interest. When sub-Saharan Africa is covered in the news it is uniformly as a tale of disaster and conflict. There is rarely much context or background in the reports. In part this is due to changing priorities in news coverage but also part of the wider trend of the disappearance of TV current affairs on mainstream channels in the UK. It argues that if in 2005 British politicians are seeking to reinvent our perceptions of Africa and the way that the West engages with it, then the role of the media and the stories it reports on Africa will have a pivotal role in that process.