Several journalists from various organizations met with officials from the Ministry of Information (MININFOR) and the Media High Council (MHC) to brainstorm on the challenges that journalists face while executing their duties and the role government can play in mitigating them.
During the meeting held at MHC premises in Nyarugenge, journalists cited inadequate access to information and lack of facilitation as the main hindrances to their profession.
In response, Ignatius Kabagambe the Director General in MININFOR, told practitioners that government has done everything possible to make information easily accessible to journalists without any discrimination based on the organizations they represent.
“The government provides information to all media outlets without preferential treatment. The rest is a case of how the outlets compete amongst themselves,” Kabagambe said.
He guaranteed the journalists that government would always avail them opportunities to further their education so as to improve their professional skills.
He also said that all reporters will, in the near future be issued renewed IDs, so that they don’t get difficulties whenever they visit institutions or go out into the field to cover stories.
“Much as the government is willing to collaborate with journalists, they also need to help themselves by acting professionally at all times because they are the voice of the nation,” he added.
The Executive Secretary of Media High Council, Patrice Mulama, said that MHC had contracted a leading firm to carry out surveys and satisfactory consultations on media penetration in Rwanda, which information will be used to bridge the gaps between journalists, public institutions and the population.
“We have carried out successful surveys before with the contribution of journalists and several media bodies. We hope to maintain this trend of cooperation and even make it better, to ensure that the media operates on international standards,” Mulama said.