“Since the production and broadcast of “Rwanda’s Untold Story”, a BBC documentary film produced by Jane CORBIN, the Rwanda Media Commission confirmed that this documentary film violated both media ethics and principles, and we call for the prosecution of those involved with its production” says MUVUNYI Fred, RMC Chairman.
Rwanda Media Commission, represented by its Chairman MUVUNYI Fred, made this statement on 19th November, 2014; while witnessing to the independent Commission of Inquiry into accusations of genocide denial and revisionism leveled against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) led by the former Prosecutor-General Martin NGOGA.
Mr. MUVUNYI said that “Rwanda’s Untold Story” violated media ethics and journalistic principles regarding national and international journalistic principles.
“This documentary film lacks basic journalistic standards and violates many principles and laws and this is why we request that in your final recommendations, you mention the need to take a legal action since there are criminal elements.” He said.
During this public hearing organized by the Commission of Inquiry into accusation against BBC, Fred MUVUNYI detailed an analysis made by the Rwanda Media Commission on the documentary, saying the scripts in the film amount to genocide denial and revisionism, bias, defamation, false allegation, lack of social responsibility and hatred information dissemination.
“The producer of “Rwanda’s Untold Story”, Jane Corbin, interviewed sources that include Prof. Allan Stam and Dr. Christian Davenport who claimed that only 200,000 Tutsi were killed in the Genocide. This statement clearly diminishes the 1994 Genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, where official figures indicate that more than a million Tutsi were killed during the Genocide as approved by the United Nations Security Council resolution 2150,” He confirmed.
According to Principle III of International Principles of Professional Ethics in Journalism: The journalist’s social responsibility:
“Information in journalism is understood as a social good and not as a commodity, which means that the journalist shares responsibility for the information transmitted and is thus accountable not only to those controlling the media but ultimately to the public at large, including various social interests. The journalist’s social responsibility requires that he or she will act under all circumstances in conformity with a personal ethical consciousness.”
Concluding, Mr. MUVUNYI said that regarding the International Principles of Professional Ethics in journalism, Corbin’s “Rwanda’s Untold Story” did not follow either any professional journalistic standards or code of ethics and general media laws and regulatory frameworks at both national and international level in journalism.
In the interest of objectivity and natural justice, the Rwanda Media Commission requested the commission of Inquiry on BBC issue to give a platform to BBC and Jane Corbin so they can defend themselves.
“The commission requires impartiality and credibility. This might relate primarily to the truthfulness and accuracy of the facts journalists report. Credible journalistic and political report is reliable and believable.” Fred MUVUNYI, RMC Chairman recommended.
This Commission of Inquiry has been set by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) to investigate accusations of Genocide denial and revisionism against BBC; it is headed by the former Prosecutor-General Martin NGOGA; and since yesterday, begun hearing testimonies from different witnesses at Telecom House in Kacyiru, Kigali.