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The Media and the Rwanda Crisis: Effects on Audiences and Public Policy

  • Greg Philo
  • Lindsey Hilsum
  • Liza Beattie
  • Rick Holliman
Part of the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague book series (ISSTH)

Abstract

This chapter is based on an analysis of British television news coverage of the Rwanda refugee crisis of July 1994.1 It is part of a programme of research undertaken by the Glasgow Media Group into relationships between media coverage, audience reception and political decision-making processes. In other work, the Group is examining media representations of migration from the Third World and the impact of such images on public beliefs and attitudes to issues of ‘race’.2 The representation of crisis in the Third World was also examined in earlier work on the Ethiopian famine of 1984–85 and the media response to this.3 This study showed the low priority which news stories from the Third World typically have in Western news agendas and the very limited range of explanations which are offered in news reports on the nature and origins of such crises. This theme is also developed in the current study of the media and the Rwanda crisis in that the reasons given for the refugee exodus are extremely limited. It is also clear, however, that whatever the faults of the media, they have become central to the priorities and planning of some NGOs and government agencies. As we will show, this can have a crucial impact on policy decisions.

Keywords

News Story News Report Emergency Assistance Unaccompanied Child Refugee Crisis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Bibliography

  1. Cleasby, A. (January 1995) What in the World is Going on? (Third World & Environmental Broadcasting Project (3WE), London).Google Scholar
  2. Joint Evaluation of Emergency Assistance to Rwanda, Study III ‘The International Response to Conflict and Genocide: Lessons from the Rwanda Experience’, March 1996, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  3. Philo, G. (1993) ‘From Buerk to Band Aid: the media and the 1984 Ethiopian famine’, in J. Eldridge (ed.), Getting the Message. News, Truth and Power, Routledge, London and New York.Google Scholar
  4. Philo, G. & L. Beattie (1997) Media, Migration and Racism, Glasgow Media Group, Glasgow.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Social Studies 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greg Philo
  • Lindsey Hilsum
  • Liza Beattie
  • Rick Holliman

There are no affiliations available

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