Friday 21 December 2012


The CNN Effect 

The second world war created for the first time in history a truly global international system. Events in one region affect events elsewhere and therefore are of interest to states in other,even distant places. At the beginning of the 1980's, innovation in communication technologies and the vision of Ted Turner produced CNN, the first time global news network. CNN refer as "Cable News Network". CNN broadcasted news around the clock and around the world via a combination of satellites and cable television outlets. In the 1990-1991 Gulf war, CNN emerged as global actor in international relations.and its successful coverage inspired other broadcasting organizations such as BBC,which already had a world radio broadcast,NBC, and star to establish global television networks. CNN's growth and diversification's, including the creation of CNN International relations, such as technology, economics, culture, law, public opinion, politics,and diplomacy, as well as war fare, terrorism, human rights, environmental degradation, refugees and health. in the 1980's. these effect attracted limited attention from both the academic and professional communities, but CNN's coverage of the gulf war encouraged greater investigations. The war marked a turning point in the history of communication and of  CNN is particular, which brought about a similar change in communications and international relations requires adequate theoretical and empirical work to scientifically assess its place and influence.Many scholars have conducted studies of  CNN within various general frameworks. This article investigates studies of  CNN's effects on war and intervention, foreign policy, many of these works explore what become known as the  "CNN effect". scholars have yet to define the  CNN effect, leading one to questions if an elaborated theory exists or simply an attractive neologism. In the early analysis of this supposed effect, writers also called it the  "CNN complex", the " CNN curve" and the " CNN factor". each carrying multiple meanings with journalists, officials and scholars. In recent years, however, researchers have predominately associated global real time news coverage with forcing policy on leaders and accelerating the pace of international communication.

CNN international is broadcast in over 212 countries, and translated in numerous language.In Africa, CNN broadcast in several countries, and some of their programs are specially meant for African audience. Take for example African voices, a program that is aired and covers some of the issues affecting Africa, be they economical, political, and so forth. CNN international has over the years diversified its programs, and every one will find something interesting to watch . CNN cartoon network is popular with smaller children. The older generation prefers to watch programs like Quest Means Business, the Christina Amanpour report. These are examples of some popular  programs in CNN, which are very popular with adults, and those interested in knowing what is taking place across the borders.    

In India,  CNN has stake in  IBN (Indian broadcasting network) i.e. CNN IBN.       

World war II
                  In WWII, mass media became an important part of the war efforts. The war could be easily broadcast throughout the world and major television broadcast companies quickly became forefront runners of broadcasting. Throughout subsequent wars, the Cold War, Vietnam, Gulf War, and other conflicts, broadcast companies NBC, BBC, and CNN became some of the most influential broadcasters of the war activities. Senior political officials began to recognize how their policies were affected by the mass media. Former Secretary of State James Barker III wrote, “In Iraq, Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, and Chechnya, among others, the real-time coverage of conflict by the electronic media have served to create a powerful new imperative for prompt action that was not present in less frenetic [times]”.  The theory states that television coverage can have three different effects on humanitarian military interventions. The first effect is self-titled the “CNN Effect,” where images of suffering push governments into intervention; the second is the “body bags effect,” where images of casualties pull governments away; the final effect is the “bullying effect,” where the use of excessive force risks draining away public support for intervention. As will be shown, despite the great ability the media have to affect political power, it failed in its duty in the genocide of Rwanda and Darfur.

Rwanda Introduction:
                The conflict in Rwanda had been slowly building since the mid-1900s between two people groups, the Hutu and Tutsis. Genocide began in 1959 when the Hutu government militia killed 20,000 Tutsis. Intermittent fighting and killing continued until April of 1994 when the president of the Hutu militia was shot down in a jet. Massacre started the next day with 8,000 to 10,000 Rwandans being killed each day. The international media failed here in informing the world of the massive genocide. Reporter Tom Giles (2007) described the slow response:

For nearly three weeks in April, after its first days had passed, the story of one of the twentieth century’s worst crimes had failed – in an age of global satellite broadcasting – to make the top of the TV news bulletins.It took the news media several weeks to begin circulating the story of the genocide in Rwanda. Even then the stories were scarce and often times overshadowed by stories of happenings in Bosnia. News sources also had a hard time getting reporters into Rwanda due to the highly dangerous atmosphere. For most of April, there were only 10-15 reporters in the whole country. The world was generally kept in darkness about the massacre in Rwanda as producers decided the happenings were not important enough to show audiences. Richard Dowden (2007), director of the Royal African Society said:

Rwanda simply wasn't important enough. To British editors, it was a small 
country far away in a continent that rarely hit the headlines. The words Hutu and 
Tutsi sounded funny, hardly names that ambitious news editor or desk officer 
would want to draw to the attention of a busy boss and claim that they were of 
immediate and vital importance. On top of this, many reporters had trouble fully 
understanding the situation and accurately getting the story out of the country due 
to poor technology. 

 Many lives could have been saved if the mass media would have done more during the situation. Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire said during the crisis that “I felt that one good journalist on the ground was worth a battalion of troops because I realized they could bring pressure to bear”. The CNN Effect states that political members would have taken a larger step to prevent the crisis if the media would have more greatly emphasized the genocide. When the situation began settling down in the late 1990s, over one million people were victims of the situation. National political figures claimed that they would never let something like this happen again. In a speech given by Rwanda President Paul Kagame at the general assembly of the United Nations (2005), the president said:

Never again should the international community’s response to these crimes be found wanting. Let us resolve to take collective action in a timely and decisive manner. Let us also commit to put in place early warning mechanisms and ensure.that preventive interventions are the rule rather than the exception. 

Darfur Introduction:
 No less than 10 years later, however, in 2003 another massive genocide occurred less than 1000 miles away, in nearby Sudan . The situation surrounding this second act of massive genocide started in much the same way. Various people groups were fighting for land and representation within the country. In February of 2003, the Janjaweed began burning villages and massacring villagers. Despite the media and politicians claiming they would never let another act of atrocity go unnoticed again, the news media once again failed at noticing the story until later in the year. When the genocide finally gained attention from the news media, reporters still had trouble accessing Sudan as the government was making it near impossible to enter the country. Bacon (2004) describes the tight security as the “Sudanese authorities rapidly erected an obstacle course for gaining access to Darfur. It can take more than six weeks to get a visa for Sudan, and sometimes the government won't grant them at all”. The story did not become a hot topic until September of 2004 when United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, came out and called the issue in Sudan, “genocide”. Up until this point, the situation had not been referred to in that way. This caused a media frenzy until December of that year when the tsunami hit Asia and Darfur was immediately forgotten about: “Darfur instantly vanished from the TV screens and the pages of newspapers. The media could handle only one emotion-laden story at a time, not two, and the tsunami was much more politically correct than Darfur”.

The CNN Effect in Rwanda and Darfur :

                  Because the CNN Effect has such a broad definition, it can be pointed out that the theory may be perceived as inconsistent. The policy-media interaction model is one of the THE CNN EFFECT best ways to narrow down the theory into a manageable size. A conclusion can now be made about how the CNN Effect worked in Rwanda and Darfur. In both of these cases, media attention failed to alert the public of the magnitude of genocide happening in the countries; in fact, the word “genocide” was not even used
during the first few months. Because the events were being portrayed as “chaos” or “tribal wars” people did not pay attention because there was no emotional connection to a “small” civil war happening on the other side of the world. The world did not begin to notice the magnitude of the events until the word “genocide” began to be used. The public quickly found out that one social group of people was quickly being wiped out from existence. In Rwanda, the majority of later news reports focused on the refugees and the camps they lived in. U.S. policy was quickly changed to send aid to these people when the public finally took notice. In Darfur, the public began understanding what was really happening when celebrities like George Clooney began informing people of the genocide. Darfur had a stronger media presence in the end stages of the genocide than Rwanda did, but both countries did not receive enough. Many people suffered and died because the events were either not broadcast at all, or were overpowered by stories of other events:  There is a reason why Darfur is called by some journalists and politicians“another Rwanda”. After the Second World War, the world said “never again” and the genocide in Rwanda took place. After this genocide, the people again promised themselves “never again” and now after 10 years of tragedy in Rwanda, the same thing happened in Darfur. If media had broadcast events earlier and harder, it is safe to say that policy makers, who at the time did not have firm-set policies, would have intervened more readily. There can be no doubt that media affects people each and every day. Turn on the TV, listen to the radio in the car, read a blog post online, it all influences you either in a positive or in a negative way. Mass media have a huge power over the public; they can form the public into whatever they want. Communist nations use propaganda to brainwash their citizens to believe preposterous things.  American advertising uses images of skinny models to tell girls what they need to look like. It is all around us. Because mass media have such great power, it also has a large responsibility. When large humanitarian crises happen, such as genocide, the media need to be there and show people what is happening in effort to stop it. There will always be challenges, but we can learn from the past and not repeat the same mistakes.  News services need to not be afraid of pushing a popular story out of the radar to cover crisis events. Media are the first line of defense. They should be the first in the country, the first to accurately report what is happening, and to actively push for global aid. If all agencies were willing to do this, there should never be an excuse for letting hundreds of thousands of people be slaughtered. Media have power; when used wisely, they can change the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wanna say Anything !!


Email *

Message *

IndiBlogger - The Largest Indian Blogger Community