Silent voices: the New York Times and the Washington Post coverage of the Rwandan genocide and the American response
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The genocide in Rwanda was one of the worst human experiences within the 20th century. Throughout the 100 day genocide at least 800,000 people were killed, countless were wounded, and millions were displaced from their homes. Even though details supported the claim that genocide was in progress, the international community failed in its recognition and intervention efforts. This qualitative research study examines the New York Times and the Washington Post coverage of the Rwandan genocide and the American response as part of the media discourse. Through a textual analysis of 36 articles this research revealed six frames existed in depicting murder and American state actor's response regarding Rwanda: death and murder is an African reality, Rwandan murder is a reality distortion, visual reality of murder, strategic neglect, down-play of events, and recant, remorse, and apologetic. This research provides insight for government leaders, media institutions, academicians, and the international community on the challenges of reporting the Rwanda genocide in Africa and how the limited recognition, lack of knowledge, and negative perception of the region dismissed the reality of genocide which delayed appropriate responses.