The Mass Media and the Rwandan Genocide: Toward a more responsible coverage

dc.contributor.advisorBergen, Lori
dc.contributor.authorUdomah, Justin Mathias
dc.description.abstractThe Hutus rose against the Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994 in an unrestricted pogrom that took away 800,000 innocent lives within a short period of hundred days. Proportionately, that number would translate into a whooping 8,000 deaths a day if the cost of the genocide were to be calculated per day. With the local media on the side of the killers, what did the international media do to help stop the killing? What could they have done? And what should be done so that this sort of disaster does not continue to befall humanity? These questions, considered within the context of media social responsibility, constitute the reason for this ethical investigation into the media coverage of the Rwandan genocide, as well as a reflection on a strategic plan or plans of action that would ensure a more responsible coverage in potential situations. This study is consistent with many authors who argue that news coverage has to be socially responsible by being existentially objective, promoting respect for the sacredness of human life, and operating from the angle of care-based ethics. Responsible news coverage should not only be truthful, fair and balanced but must also impact the society positively in a tremendous way. While acknowledging existing media models of intervention in crisis situations, the predicament is a socio-political concern that demands a far-reaching solution, a sanatio in radice. To provide the needed solution, the educational base of journalism as a discipline should be broadened and deepened so that journalism students may be well equipped intellectually and skillfully for the difficult job of reporting conflicts of genocidal nature. Moreover, conflict coverage should be considered a necessary and restricted area of specialization in schools of journalism into which only highly intelligent and brave students ought to be admitted.
dc.description.departmentJournalism and Mass Communication
dc.format.extent137 pages
dc.format.medium1 file (.pdf)
dc.identifier.citationUdomah, J. M. (2009). The mass media and the Rwandan genocide: Toward a more responsible coverage (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.
dc.subjectethnic relations
dc.subjectpublic opinion
dc.subjectmass media
dc.titleThe Mass Media and the Rwandan Genocide: Toward a more responsible coverage
dc.typeThesis and Mass Communication State University-San Marcos of Arts


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