Friday, May 05, 2006


Bono, as you know, likes to see himself as the saviour of the poor, the suffering, those whose voices are small and get lost in the wider media and political world. So it's no surprise he's decided to try and help The Independent.

The paper has signed up to his Red initiative, the campaign that is attempting to prove you can be a Western consumer and help the developing world at the same time - for instance, by running up your share of the trillions of consumer debt on a red-coloured American Express card purchasing stuff you don't need, manufactured using finite resources, you're helping the starving in some way.

As part of the deal, Bono gets to edit the paper for a day on May 16th. The Indie will give half its revenue from that day to the Red campaign, and Bono will use the paper as his personal tool.

Which makes sense - after all, people like Bono can't gain access to the media in any other way, can they?

You might wonder if the idea was to maximise awareness rather than increase sales whether it might not have been better to invite, say, editors of papers from Sierra Leone or Sudan to take the helm of the paper for a day, and perhaps direct the half revenue to help support free media in the developing world directly. But then, of course, it wouldn't feature Bono, would it? And, for some reason, it seems everything to do with Africa has to be passed through the hands of that property speculator and Wall Street Investment Fund figure these days.