Scandal! #Rwanda doesn’t ALREADY hire a PR firm to deal with bottom-feeders like @thesundaytimes

1

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.

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One thought on “Scandal! #Rwanda doesn’t ALREADY hire a PR firm to deal with bottom-feeders like @thesundaytimes

  1. Mwene Kalinda says:

    Dear Sonia, An op-ed piece in Truthout by Simon Dawes on Friday 25 January 2013 underlines “the ubiquity of conflicts of interest (with investigating police officers subsequently taking up jobs with NI – The News of the World, and likely suspects at NI moving on to work with the government)”. It also raises more profound questions about the relations between the media, the police and politicians. The piece wonders whether the freedom of the press has not become degraded to equate freedom of the press with the freedom of one man or corporation to hold sway over national and global media and politics, for the distinction between public opinion and the vested interests of powerful corporations to be so unclear.

    Rwandans would similarly not fail to highlight that the incestous and completely unpoliced relationships between the media, UN officials and powerful members of the so-called human rights industry has resulted in a media that has become a willing purveyor of completely implausible story-lines pushed by both those UN officials and a human rights cabal, similarly financed by very wealth individuals with agendas that cannot be avowed. These scandalously incestous relationships and therefore gigantic conflicts of interest are also continuously reinforced by revolving-door recruitment practices among the UN, the media and the “human rights” industry that lead us to question whether a UN official recruited from the HRW to work on issues of interest to that organization is really working for the UN or on mission from his/her “previous” employer to shape UN policies to align with those of that organization. Questions can also be asked whehter a Reuters, AFP or AP correspondent in the African Great Lakes region, for instance, is in fact a journalist or a HRW activist when such a correspondent has previously worked for such an organization on the same issue(s) they now cover for the “news” agency?

    The end result is that the media has now no become degraded to the point where it can no longer be trusted to act as objective, disinterested observers who provide balanced news, but have become more likely to feed us with public relations on behalf of their “previous” employers and associates. It shouldn’t surprise us therefore when the likes of Mr. Leppard attempt to cast the likelihood of Rwanda retaining a PR firm to deal with the damage this bought-and-paid-for media has inflicted on the country as scandalous. It takes a member of that PR fraternity – which used to be known as the media – to appreciate the fact that, in the interest of those who pay its way, the commercial media nowadays operates on the basis of the mushroom principle: Keep Your Readers and Audiences in the Dark and Feed Them a Lot of Manure!

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