Commúnity Media and peace building in post-conflict Rwanda
Sammanfattning: Abstract The main import of this case study is to understand how community radio has contributed to peace in the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda which in essence was the massacring of the Tutsi and Hutu moderates by Hutu extremists. The inquiry embraces the citizen participation theory and a rhizomatic approach to the study of community media as its analytic lenses. This task is accomplished through expert interviews with community media practitioners. The main research question for the study is; How has community radio contributed to peace building in post-conflict Rwanda? A subsidiary question is posed: How have changes in post genocide Rwanda´s media environment impacted the operations of community radios? These questions are important in post-conflict Rwanda where one ethnic group fought the other aided by the radio amidst accusations and counter accusations of marginalisation in developmental matters and political influence. The study finds that community radio has contributed to peace by defining community in terms of region and not defining the concept along the same ethnic lines that have proven to be problematic in the past They have instead placed emphasis on homogeneity e.g. same language and culture rather than difference and have adopted a new narrative to describe the socio-economic challenges of the Rwandan people. A platform for citizen participation was created for people to share experiences and resolve disputes and regular reconciliatory messages pass through the airwaves. While there have been challenges with the restructuring of the media-legal framework which in the eyes of some resulted in too harsh media laws and strict government control, community media is one of the major benefactors of the changes. A measure of decency was established.
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