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Media Training


Applications are invited from persons living and working in Rwanda to
participate in a distance learning course on ‘The role of the media in
the genocide in Rwanda’.

The 1994 genocide in Rwanda provides a telling case study of two quite
separate roles for media in a conflict situation. The genocide was
among the most appalling catastrophes of the 20th century, and media
played a significant part both internally and internationally. Prior to
the genocide, radio stations and newspapers were carefully used by the
conspirators to dehumanise the potential victims, Rwanda's Tutsi
minority. During the genocide, radio was used by the Hutu extremist
conspirators to mobilise the Hutu majority, to coordinate the killings
and to ensure that the plans for extermination were faithfully

While a series of terrible massacres of Tutsi were carried out and as
the signs of ever-increasing violence grew, Rwanda was totally ignored
by the international media. When the genocide came, the erratic media
coverage largely conveyed the false notion of two ‘tribes’ of African
‘savages’ mindlessly slaughtering each other as they had done from time
immemorial. As a result, there was little public pressure in the West
for governments to intervene.

In this distance learning course you will study these two facets of
the media role in the genocide in detail. You will see how easily the
concept of free speech and free press in a local situation can be
perverted for foul ends. We will ask how this dilemma could be
resolved. We will explore the problem of inadequate or even distorted
international coverage of crises and conflicts in areas poorly
understood by Western journalists. We will consider whether this
unfortunate situation can be improved in the future.

The course, developed by Fahamu for UPEACE, will be taught by Gerald
Caplan, a Canadian-based public policy analyst and international
coordinator of the "Remembering Rwanda" Project. He is also a public
affairs commentator and author of "Rwanda: The Preventable Genocide,"
the report of the International Panel of Eminent Personalities To
Investigate the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, appointed by the Organization of
African Unity (OAU). He is presently co-editing a book on the Rwandan
genocide ten years later.

The course has been developed for journalists and other professionals
in the field of media, students of journalism, NGO staff and policy
makers, and will lead to a certificate from the University for Peace.

This course is designed to take 10 weeks using an interactive CDROM
containing all materials required for the course. You will be guided in
your work by a course tutor via email. You will also have an
opportunity to discuss your work with fellow students via email.

The course will include a workshop in which all students, as well as
the tutor come together for several days of intensive work. There will
be a final short period in which students will work independently and
submit a final assignment. The topic for this assignment will be
determined at the workshop.

Applications are invited from suitable candidates in Rwanda to attend
the first course. The distance learning course will begin on 10
January, with a workshop to be held in Butare, Rwanda, on 15-17 March.

Please note that this is a pilot run of the course and that is why it
is limited to Rwandan participants. Following the first pilot, the
course will be fine-tuned and will be made available at a later date
for broader participation from elsewhere in Africa.

Applicants must:
- Have good command of written and spoken English
- Have access to a computer with a CDROM drive (PC or Mac) for at
least seven hours a week
- Have an email address (access to the WWW would be an advantage)
- Be living and working in Rwanda

Application process
Applicants should submit a letter, in English, of at least 500 words
explaining why this course is important in their work, and motivating
why they should be selected. They should submit a summary CV of no more
than one page, and provide evidence from their employer/institution
that they have access to a suitable computer. Applications should be
sent by email only to Fahamu to: . Applications should
be received by 22 November 2004.

There are 15 places available. Since it is a pilot course, fees, and
costs of attending the workshop in Butare will exceptionally be met by
the University for Peace.

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