Media and Mass Atrocity: the Rwanda Genocide and Beyond

Media and Mass Atrocity: the Rwanda Genocide and Beyond

Categories: CU75, General, Lectures and Seminars, Panel Discussions, Press Conferences / Announcements | Intended for

Saturday, December 02, 2017 - Sunday, December 03, 2017

8:30 AM - 5:30 PM | Add to calendar

Third floor conference Residence Commons

1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON

Contact Information

Allan Thompson, 613799-1791,



About this Event

Host Organization: School of Journalism and Communication
More Information: Please click here for additional details.

Media and Mass Atrocity: the Rwanda Genocide and Beyond

Roundtable at Carleton University, Dec. 1-3, 2017

Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication, in collaboration with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University, will host a major international roundtable - Media and Mass Atrocity: the Rwanda Genocide and Beyond - from Dec. 1-3, 2017, at Carleton. The event is being chaired by Prof. Allan Thompson, a journalism professor at Carleton. 

As the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Rwanda genocide approaches, there is still much to learn about the nexus between mass atrocity and the media, an issue laid bare by the Rwanda tragedy. The roundtable will bring together an international network of more than 25 experts for discussions around the question of media and mass atrocity. Those who are interested in attending the roundtable must register online in advance at the following site:

We also encourage you to follow along on the event's Facebook page:

Event details:
As more information about the Rwanda genocide becomes available and as the narrative of those events continues to evolve, we still have much to learn from the important case study of Rwanda about the role of media in stimulating and responding to mass atrocities. In particular, in an era of social media saturation, near-ubiquitous mobile device penetration, and dramatic shifts in traditional news media, it is more important than ever to examine the nexus between media and mass atrocity. Advances in information and communications technology have reshaped the media landscape, rendering mass atrocities in distant countries more immediate and harder to ignore. And yet, a cohesive international response to mass atrocities has been elusive. Social media tools can be used to inform and engage, but also - in an echo of hate radio in Rwanda - can also be used to demonize opponents and mobilize extremism. With enhanced and relatively inexpensive communications technologies, ordinary citizens around the globe can capture live footage of human rights abuses before journalists have the chance, making social media itself a global actor, affecting the responses of national governments and international organizations to threats against peace and security and human rights. And yet, despite the extended reach that technological advances have afforded traditional news media and social media, the media impact in mass atrocity events is still a complex subject. Specifically, we are left with many troubling questions, still unresolved despite the passage of time since Rwanda. What role do media play in alerting the international community to looming mass atrocity? Could more informed and comprehensive coverage of mass atrocities mitigate or even halt the killing by sparking an international outcry? How do we assess the impact of hate media reporting in a killing spree? What is the role of the media in trying to encourage amelioration of the conflict or post-conflict reconciliation? What do the lessons of Rwanda mean now, in an age of communications so dramatically influenced by social media? Media and Mass Atrocity: the Rwanda Genocide and Beyond, grapples with these very questions.
Tentative roundtable agenda (subject to change):
Friday, Dec. 1  
5:00 - 8:00 pm         Atrium and Ateliers – Richcraft Hall, Carleton University
Roundtable Registration – Orientation, dinner and Opening Ceremony 

Saturday, Dec. 2
Residence Commons building, Carleton Univ. – third floor conference room
8:30-9:30                  Opening remarks: Romeo Dallaire 
9:30-10:45                1st Panel:  Looking back at Rwanda: controlling the Narrative
Linda Melvern -  Investigative journalist (via Skype)  
Filip Reyntjens -  University of Antwerp
10:45-11:00             Break
11:00-12:30             2nd Panel: Hate media
Frank Chalk - Montreal Institute of Genocide and Human Rights Studies 
Theo Dolan – Peacetech Lab
12:30-1:15                Lunch (Third floor - Residence Commons)
1:15-2:45                  3rd Panel: International media coverage of genocide
Catherine Bond – World Bank (former foreign correspondent)
James Siguru – Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard University
Thierry Cruvelier – University of Wisconsin, Madison
Simon Cottle – Communications, Human Security and Atrocity in Global Context Research Group, Cardiff University 
2:45  - 3:00               Break
3:00  - 4:30               4th Panel: Rwanda – after the genocide Rwanda                 
Anjan Sundaram – post-colonial journalism in Rwanda (via Skype)
Paul Rukesha – Rwanda Genocide Archive, Kigali Rwanda
Mark Frohardt - Internews
4:30 - 5:45                5th Panel: Journalists and Mass Atrocity
Martha Steffens - School of Journalism, University of Missouri
Brett Popplewell – School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University  
Lauren Kogen – Department of Media Studies & Production, Temple University (via Skype)
Paul Watson - Pulitzer-prize winning Canadian journalist 
6 p.m.                       Private dinner for roundtable panelists

Sunday, Dec. 3
8:30 - 10:00 6th panel – Social media – the new media actor      
Stephanie MacLellan – Centre for International Governance Innovation
Geoffrey York – Globe and Mail, Africa correspondent
Nick Monaco, Digital Intelligence Lab – social media disinformation
Nadia Hai – School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
Yannick Veilleux-Lepage – University of St. Andrew’s 
10:00 – 10:15                      Break
10:15 - 11:45                       7th panel: Echoes of Rwanda
Michael Petrou – 2017 Nieman fellow, Harvard University
Joachim Savelsberg – Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota
Alan Davis – Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Michelle Betz – Media consultant          
11:45 - 12:15                       LUNCH – (Third floor – Residence Commons)
12:15 - 1:30              8th panel: Prevention
Steven Livingston - George Washington University
David Smith – Okapi Consulting 
Bert Ingelaere – University of Antwerp 
Rafal Rohozinski – SecDev 
1:30-2:30                Closing Plenary