Allan Thompson, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), journalism professor at Carleton University and the Liberal candidate in Huron-Bruce, will hold the Bruce County launch for his new edited volume from CIGI Press: Media and Mass Atrocity: The Rwanda Genocide and Beyond, at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre, 33 Victoria Street North in Southampton, on
Tuesday, 14 May 2019, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
It has been 25 years since Rwanda slid into the abyss. The killings happened in broad daylight, yet many of us failed to grasp the unfolding events. When human beings are at their worst — as they most certainly were in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide — the world needs the institutions of journalism and the media to be at their best. Sadly, in Rwanda, the media fell short.
Confronted by Rwanda’s horrors, international news media at times turned away, or muddled the story when they did pay attention by casting it in a formulaic way as anarchic tribal warfare rather than an organized genocide. Hate media outlets in Rwanda played a role in laying the groundwork for genocide, and then encouraged the extermination campaign.
The lessons of Rwanda, in some respects a textbook case, should have been clear. But a quarter century later, these are lessons that we still struggle to absorb.
The global media landscape has been transformed since the 1994 Rwanda genocide. We are now saturated with social media, frequently generated by non-journalists. Mobile phones are everywhere. And in many quarters, the traditional news media business model continues to founder. Against that backdrop, it is more important than ever to examine the nexus between the media and the forces that give rise to mass atrocity.
Allan Thompson, editor of Media and Mass Atrocity, will be on hand to talk about the 25th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide and how the intersection between media and mass atrocity events has evolved in the intervening quarter century.
There will be a question and answer session after Allan’s presentation, then coffee and a chance to purchase a copy of the book.
Admission is free, but those who wish to attend are asked to register in advance at: https://mediaandmassatrocity-southampton.eventbrite.ca