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Proceedings of The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) have received evidence that the news media played an important role in the Rwanda genocide. Radio and the local print fueled the killings while the international media ignored or gravely misconstrued the situation on the ground. The print media is believed to have started the hate speech against Tutsis. According to witnesses anti-Tutsi hate speech became to systemic as to seem the custom in Rwanda. The Government-owned newspaper "Kangura" played a central role in starting an anti-RPF and anti-Tutsi campaign in October 1990. Kangura also published the "10 Hutu Commandments," which regulated all dealings with the Tutsi and how the Hutu were to treat them. Due to high rates of illiteracy at the time of the genocide, radio was used by the government to incite violence before and during the genocide.
Truth divides real and factual events. Majority of the population relies on already decided views from different sources of the media. People form judgments from what they hear on radio and television and what they read on newspapers regardless of whether the information is biased. Excess information leads tyranny of the mind, which causes the truth to be lost and people, become blinded to the truth. This makes man a slave to other people's ideologies and opinions.
In order for human beings to untangle themselves from slavery of the mind and to become truly free, they must be ready to examine all information they receive in order to determine what is true and relevant to them and what is not. We must be able to look beyond the barriers that separate humankind such as race, gender, economic and social status so as be able to discern the true meaning of any information presented to us. Most of the times we refuse to see the truth for what it is because of our preconceived ideas about other people or events. Most of the time our response to any information depends on who presents it and who we perceive it affects. We are more likely to believe news casts if the telecaster is of our own race. Negative news of people we consider inferior is often believed to be true but we are willing to give the benefit of the doubt when we hear negative news of people we consider superior or of the same status to us. We should judge information using the same standards if we are concerned with the truth at all times.
We often let religion and science make decisions for us, it is fundamental that we do our own research and question things presented to us with an open mind. The clergy may often try to guide their flock on matters they consider ungodly but are not they just expressing their interpretations and thoughts about those issues. Many have been led astray by believing every word of their religious authority, it is paramount to weigh all information regardless of the source. For us to survive we must be ready to make decisions for ourselves otherwise we will self-destruct as Rwanda did when the majority tribe killed their own countrymen.
Technology and media have many advantages and provides a variety of information. Media is the effective and popular instrument of education and entertainment and propaganda. Television hosts numerous scholars who discuss various issues such as politics, arts, literature, economics and social issues. The media also connects the government and the people. Since most of the communication agencies used by the government are directly or indirectly owned by them, they are used by lobby groups to advance their own interests instead of the interests of the public. The media is supposed to present the public with information that is honest, impartial, free and untarnished regardless of the source be it private or government.
All facts should be presented and criticized before the people so as to allow them accept sound information and reject what they consider unsound. However, most of the time the media is used to deceive people and further the agendas of a select few in the society. The public is lead stray and only allowed access to information that has been predetermined and vetted by this select few. Sometimes honest journalist only interested in reporting the truth are frustrated since the governments opinion and policy determine what will be broadcast .There times when even false charges are conferred on them , some are even accused of espionage and treason. This encourages distortion of the truth.
Propaganda is defined as an expression of opinion, or action, intended to manipulate the opinion and actions of other people to some determined en .Propaganda is a one-sided presentation of facts or reality. d. Propaganda is what is used to shape policies, politics, wars, economics and public opinions in most countries. It is conducted using high technology and media of mass communication for example radio, television and internet. Most politicians, lobby groups and pressure groups employ publicists and advertisers to sway the opinion of the masses. They invest billions and billions of dollars to ensure that the public opinion of them and their companies is what they want. Advertising is used by manufacturers to market their goods by giving them attributes that appeal to consumers regardless of whether they are true or not.
Wars have been fought because a perceived truth led World leaders to believe that the greater good can only be achieved if countries went into war. Populations have been reduced through genocides and scientifically engineered virus, simply because people have been made to believe that some races or tribes are inferior to others. Politicians address conferences giving innumerable reasons why military action should be taken against some countries while only presenting one side of the story. They only talk about the good that will come out of the military action and never about the consequences of their actions. The media is used to disseminate one -sided information that does not represent actual reality to obtain support and justification from the masses.
The truth has become a scarce commodity as technology progresses. Electronic and print media are used to suffocate and hide the truth. Suppression of the truth is accomplished using propaganda, censorship, restrictive policies, lies and selfish agendas. It is therefore obvious that the world has been pulled over our eyes, to blind us from the truth. We can only save ourselves if we can train our minds to weigh the content of all the information we receive so as to determine if it is true or not.