Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), on November 7, during Africa Day of Information, presented key findings of the assessment of the financial sustainability of media houses and associations in Rwanda. ALSO READ: 44% of media staff earn less than Rwf200, 000 monthly The assessment was carried out on 39 media houses selected out of the 67 registered by RURA, 39 media owners/managers (one per selected media house), 180 journalists: 30 per cent of journalists from each of the selected media houses, seven media associations out of the eight with legal personality and 35 association members; five from each registered association. ALSO READ: Rwandan journalists celebrate Africa Day of Information Below are 10 key findings on Rwanda’s media financial status and working conditions. Freedom of expression and media freedom According to the study, over 85 per cent of media owners/managers from public, commercial and non-profit media houses find that the state of media freedom and freedom of expression in Rwanda enables the production of quality content to attract consumers and advertisers. However, a considerable number of interviewed journalists indicated that, despite a conducive legal framework, the implementation is low for freedom expression (34.4 per cent of respondents), media freedom (26.7 per cent), and particularly access to information (53.9 per cent of respondents). Media Labour market status The assessment shows that 78 per cent of the journalists have a Bachelor’s degree in various domains with 63.8 per cent having degrees in media studies. Apart from the public broadcaster with staff in all key positions, the other categories of media houses (commercial and non-profit) lack staff in some key positions such as editors, marketing, finance and administration and IT. It indicates that 44.5 per cent of staff across all media house categories are paid a monthly salary of Rwf200,000 and below which is considered not competitive enough to attract and retain skilled and experienced labour. Sources of media houses’ revenues There are more than 15 various sources of revenue, the most important being advertisement (89.2 per cent of media houses); programme sponsorship and grants (32.4 per cent of the media houses); live streaming services (27 per cent of the media houses), videography services, documentary production and supplements (21.6 per cent of the media houses). Management of media houses The findings revealed that the majority of media houses do not have key managerial documents namely marketing strategy (79.5 per cent), advertising policy/guidelines (71.8 per cent), financial manual (53.8 per cent) and action plans (51.3 per cent). Losses and profits According to the assessment based on data provided by 15 media houses, 51.7 per cent of media houses made profits in 2021 while 46.7 per cent made profits in 2022. It shows that 35.7 per cent did not make profits in 2021 and 46.7 per cent did not make profit in 2022. Compliance with statutory meetings among media associations The study found that 42 per cent of media associations do not comply with the general assembly as 57 per cent have no executive committee while 85 per cent have no audit committee. 28 per cent have no strategic plans In terms of managerial documents, 28 per cent of media associations have no strategic plans, 42 per cent have no action plan and budget and 57 per cent have no available annual report. Sources of funds for media associations Media associations mainly rely on grants and donations. It says 71.4 per cent of associations recognised membership contributions as another source of funds even though they indicated it is small. 14.3 per cent of media associations have no office The findings indicate that none of the assessed associations owns an office, 85.7 per cent operate from rented office space and own office equipment while 14.3 per cent have no office. Media associations' staff contracts The assessment shows that, in media associations, 57 per cent have no staff contracts, 71 per cent have no social security benefits and annual leave.