Through the media coverage on the Rwanda Genocide I investigate how a lack of representation can limit the study and practice of International Relations. Alan Kuperman (2000) presented the argument that ‘Western media blame the international community for not intervening quickly, but the media must share blame for not immediately recognizing the extent of the carnage and mobilizing world attention to it’. I then argue how representation can often be bias and misleading, and thus manipulate the understanding of information. During the Rwanda Genocides, the role of the radio and print in inciting killing and fuelling hate speech against the Tutsis, demonstrated the importance of controlled representation through the media. These two insights link directly to how central the concept of representation is to the study and practice of International Relations. The Western Media coverage during the Rwandan Genocides is analogous to how our understanding of conflict, war, or, more generally, the space within which international politics is deployed is always mediated by modes of representation.
Both domestic and international news media played a crucial ro...
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