January 27, 2013 by soniauwimana
The Sunday Times tapped a reporter by the name of David Leppard to file a story about how Rwanda might be hiring a public relations company in the UK. I looked into Mr Leppard and he is what might be described as a free-ranging scandal-monger, and why not? The world needs its fair share. That said, in the 539 articles published under his name since 2006, Leppard has not once even mentioned the word “Rwanda” so, even by Howard French’s standards, he hardly qualifies as an “expert” on the region.
Anyway, back to the story (which is hidden behind a paywall): the “news” apparently is that the Government of Rwanda is in talks with a British communications consultancy by the name of Portland to assist with its international image. I have no way of knowing if this is true and, if recent coverage of Rwanda by the Sunday Times is any guide, it is quite possibly a complete fabrication. Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, let’s go with it.
The unstated fact of this article is that Rwanda DOES NOT CURRENTLY employ a public relations firm in the UK, to which my reaction is…….
What??????? Why not?????
It is hardly a secret that the UK media are unethical scoundrels who will say or do anything to sell a paper. The company that owns the Sunday Times listened into the voicemail messages of a kidnapped and murdered young girl and then desperately covered it up. Several of their executive cabal are likely to spend time in gaol for their grotesque and immoral conduct.
And Rwanda is NOT already employing expertise in the UK market to deal with these people?
That is the scandal here.
And, oh, by the way, please take note of this story (09/12) from the BBC about the UK government’s marketing budget:
Next year’s marketing budget is £285m, according to Cabinet Office figures.
That is an increase on the £168m spent by the now axed Central Office of Information in its final year.
Yes, that’s right. Even as Britain undergoes the most stringent “austerity measures” of the modern era, it has increased its spending on comms by 70 percent.
At the same time, the UK government has slashed funding of services to vulnerable children by USD$1.3 billion.
You will note that, despite deep aid cuts by the UK and others over a false and malicious report, Rwanda has not reduced its commitment to supporting children by a single, solitary Rwandan franc.