Media barometer survey launched
The long awaited Media Development Index which seeks to gauge Rwanda’s media was launched yesterday in Kigali.
The index defines indicators of media development in line with the nation’s development priorities and promotion of freedom of expression and human resource development.
MDI got underway last year as a pilot exercise, as a self-assessment mechanism to establish a Rwanda media progress barometer.
The Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Protais Musoni, noted that the survey will be carried out annually.
He stated that the media sector has been liberalised since 2002 and has since changed a lot.
“We are even moving towards self regulation and improving the legal framework, including enactment of the access to information law. This is because the government of Rwanda is committed to developing the media sector in all aspects,” Musoni said.
He added that the MDI is setting a baseline to continuously engage all stakeholders.
Arthur Asiimwe, the Chairman of the Media High Council, noted that the media industry was taking the correct route.
“MDI is based on home grown criteria aggregated through professionalism. It will be a tool to guide us in making key decisions in the media,”Asiimwe said.
Also present at the event was the UNDP Country Director, Auke Lootsma, who emphasised the role of the media in governance affairs of a country.
“All aspects of good governance are facilitated by a strong and independent media sector within society. Only when journalists are free to monitor, investigate and engage in critical dialogue with public administration on policies and actions can good governance take hold,” he said.
Ceaser Handa, a representative of Transparency Rwanda (the lead researchers for the MDI), said the country has had a chequered media history with unfair criticism from the international community, who make their conclusions and recommendations based on hearsay, without carrying out any scientific research.
Contact email: maria.kaitesi[at]newtimes.co.rw