Tuesday’s decision by the Media High Council to suspend two Kinyarwanda weekly newspapers should send clear signals that the days of irresponsible journalism are over.
Readers, have for the past three consecutive months been subjected to highly sensationalised publications by these media houses, with the intention of creating a state of fear and insecurity among Rwandans.
The media in this country is still young, which is why authorities have been patient with such publications, with some deliberately publishing material that contravened the law.
This was meant to give the practitioners the benefit of the doubt, with hope that they would somehow start doing their trade professionally. However, a number of them have chosen to practice journalism devoid of any ethics.
As was said by officials at the Media High Council, some of these publications had reached the extent of publishing opinions that constituted incitement to violence, never mind the highly defamatory and libellous articles that characterised them.
The decision, therefore, should serve as a wakeup call to all media practitioners because what Rwandans need is a professional media.
The public has for long held the Rwandan media in contempt given the role the Fourth Estate played in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
It is, therefore, the media’s duty to prove to the population that today it is different.