KIGALI - After realizing that Genocide horror scenes aired on television and in documentary films during the 1994 Genocide commemoration period, play a major role in the increase of trauma cases, ORINFOR, the public broadcaster, has decided to regulate their screening.
The revelation was made by the Acting Director General of ORINFOR, Willy Rukundo, in an exclusive interview with The New Times yesterday.
“Some experts had told us about the effects of the horrific Genocide images to the people, and we have started cutting down on the images of brutality that we used to show on the national television,” Rukundo said.
Rukundo emphasized that this year, they will continue to moderately cut down on the horrific content of the Genocide images to be aired during the commemoration week that starts today.
Patrice Mulama, the Executive Secretary of the Media High Council (MHC), said that so far, no regulations have been set up on the issue, but it has been discussed before.
“In 2008 we had a dialogue on the issue with media houses, but it attracted stiff opposition from the Genocide survivors’ associations,” Mulama said.
“They argued that modifying the images would translate to minimizing the Genocide and that it would not depict how it really happened”.
Rukundo maintained that, as a public broadcaster, ORINFOR was trying to strike a balance.
“We have tried to balance both sides by not ignoring the importance of showing the graphics, but also not showing the very horrific ones,” he said.
Appearing on Rwanda television last evening, Gaspard Gasasira, from the communications department in the National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide (CNLG), said that another way of minimizing the impact of the images without actually ignoring them was by first showing testimonies of the people with success stories before showing the graphics.
By so doing, he says, it would scale down on the amount of impact it would have on people watching the images.
The issue of graphic images being a cause for trauma was also a subject of discussion at the just concluded International Genocide Symposium that took place in Kigali.