Television news and aerial images were used to monitor refugees' movements in 1996 when Hutu refugees were forced to flee encampments in Eastern Zaire/Congo. Television coverage gave viewers close-up, seemingly personalized accounts of the lives of refugees. Aerial photos rendered them as anonymous masses whose movements and containment in camps could be tracked from a distance. This paper analyzes the television coverage of the four major U.S. news outlets and aerial images of Rwandan refugee movements made available on the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) website. The study examines both on-the-ground perspectives of television news cameras, as well as aerial images, because together they provided the dual vantage points that increasingly are used to manage global crises and media events: the human tragedy at close range and the long-range impression from afar. The analysis thus explores how news and aerial images represented refugees as a deterritorialized mass unanchored from Rwanda's 1994 genocide.


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pp. 35-57
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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