Bad air

Published: Thursday 15 May 2008

A Catholic radio station In Rwanda has come under national scrutiny for allegedly giving scant coverage to commemorations of the genocide in the country last year. A report by the state-funded High Council of the Press on media coverage of the 2007 genocide commemoration week found out that Radio Maria, based in the Southern Province, carried only two news items on the event in the year while broadcasting 24 hours.

But Radio Maria dismissed the accusation. The director, Kayihura Jean Pierre said the study did not take into consideration that Radio Maria did not have locally sourced news bulletins last year. He said at that time Radio Maria was linking up to Vatican Radio in Rome for hourly international news bulletins. He also said the report only covered news in total disregard of other programming that the station ran the entire week. But critics have suggested that the findings are not a surprise considering that some Catholic priests handed over Tutsis seeking protection in churches to militias during the massacres.

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