The Responsibility to Protect in Darfur : The Role of Mass Media
Long-simmering conflict in the Sudanese region of Darfur came to a boil in the spring of 2003 and became a focus of American media attention in September 2004. After the genocide in Rwanda the international community developed a new way to deal with genocide-the 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine which legitimized intervention in case of egregious loss of human life. Despite this new doctrine, it took over five years of conflict in Darfur before the U. N. began intervening. The Responsibility to Protect in Darfur: The Role of Mass Media, traces the development of international intervention in domestic conflict, culminating in the concept of 'Responsibility to Protect' in 2001. The authors explain the background and complexity of the crisis besetting Darfur, and document U.S. media coverage of the crisis in terms of framing that would mobilize public opinion behind international intervention. The book traces evolution in international norms regarding state sovereignty and human rights that led to the articulation of 'Responsibility to Protect' and its subsequent adoption by the international community in 2005. It provides an understanding of the complex nature of the Darfur crises, in a way that was seriously lacking in media coverage. The authors also analyze the affects media coverage of the crisis had on the world's reaction, particularly in the U.S. Specifically it looks at television coverage of the crisis, and the newspaper coverage, particularly through The New York Times. Finally, the authors ask if 'Responsibility to Protect' was helpful in Darfur, and if it will be in the future for other countries.
- Electronic book text | 172 pages
- Lexington Books
- MD, United States
About Abdel Salam Sidahmed
Abdel Salam Sidahmed is an associate professor of political science at University of Windsor. He co-authored Sudan: The Contemporary Middle East, and Humanitarian Crises and Intervention: Reassessing the Impact of Mass Media. Walter C. Soderlund has worked extensively in mass media studies with the Center for Social Justice. He also co-authored Humanitarian Crises and Intervention: Reassessing the Impact of Mass Media. E. Donald Briggs is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Windsor.
Media coverage of the Sudan government's onslaught on Darfur villages alerted the world and?for a while?reduced the frequency of the attacks. The acknowledgement in the UN of the international Responsibility to Protect raised the Darfuris' hopes that the world would help them. But what stopped brave reporting and well intentioned institutional words from prompting effective action? This downbeat examination of the war in Darfur takes a close and sobering look at the arguments over international protective intervention and the fraught role of media coverage. It shines a useful light on often overlooked aspects of the conflict and the way that actions have fallen far behind the words...--Peter Verney