THE ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN PROMOTING HUMAN RIGHTS:

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Abstract                                            

This study examines the role of the media in promoting human rights. Central to the study is an effort to find out why the media decide to include human rights coverage as part of their programmes as well as the portrayal of human rights elements in such programmes.

A total of five journalists were interviewed, three of them were BBC journalists involved in the production of the documentary which was filmed in the West African countries of Ghana and Ivory Coast. The remaining two were Swedish journalists included to derive a wider perspective on what the role of the media should be. An analysis of BBC One Panorama documentary- „Chocolate: the bitter truth‟ was done to ascertain how the documentary enhanced human rights promotion. Both the interviews and documentary analysis provided data needed to answer the research questions

Findings from the interviews and the documentary reveal that the media do have a role to play in human rights promotion. This role is important because the mass media audience is often averse to human rights programmes as they consider them boring. However, the seemingly boring human rights programmes can be made attractive when the media adopt a technique which attracts the audience interest and attention to human rights programmes.

 

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