Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2011


School of Communication


Communication Studies: Broadcasting

Primary Subject Area

Journalism; Mass Communications


CNN Effect, Rwanda, Darfur, Humanitarian Aid, Theory, Communication, COMS, crisis, genocide, Mass Media, politics, political leaders, journalism, journalists, murder


Broadcast and Video Studies | Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Communication | International and Intercultural Communication | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication


Mass media have great power and great responsibility. The CNN Effect states that when news media broadcast emotionally driven stories of human crisis, this provokes a major response by domestic audiences and political elites. This power to influence public policy can help save people from danger and even death. Acts of massive genocide were committed in Rwanda and Darfur. Because the media failed to act quickly and report accurately on these situations, many people lost their lives due to slow international reaction. News media need to learn from these tragic mistakes and never let genocide go on unnoticed by those who have the power to stop it.