The Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) recently announced plans to register YouTube channels that operate as media houses, as a way to make them more accountable. This has triggered mixed reactions, with some interpreting this as unnecessary, given that YouTubers already subscribe and adhere to international standards. According to a statement from RMC, the development exclusively targets journalism operating online for accountability and professional purposes. However, to be able to register, applicants will have to present a copy of their degree certificate, and supporting documents of the owner of the YouTube channel. According to some of the commentators, this contradicts article 19 of the law regulating media in Rwanda, which stipulates that every person has the right to receive, disseminate or send information through the internet. This means that every person is entitled to the right of creating a website through which he/she can publish content for public consumption even if they are not professional journalists. “This move is tricky to tell whether it is good or bad. To me, YouTube is a social media platform like any other. There is no exception. And we know that it is regulated. What is the essence of regulating it?” Etienne Gatanazi, a YouTube blogger said. He added, “RMC says that they want to order those involved in unprofessional work, but YouTube has its settings too. I am a YouTube blogger, and this will not only bother me but also other media practitioners.” Gatanazi explained that in the law of access to information, you don’t need to be a trained journalist in order to pursue this career, this is very contradictory. Gentil Gedeon Ntirenganya, a YouTube blogger noted that YouTube is a Google platform that already has community guidelines and oversees ethical standards. “That means that this platform is regulated, how do they plan to re-regulate it?” Alternatively, Ntirenganya says that RMC should train journalists on being ethical and professional rather than inconveniencing their work. In contrast, Emmy Nsengiyumva, a journalist, is of the view that registering all YouTube Media channels is a timely initiative given the current unprofessional work that has taken over most channels. “This is something that should have happened a long time ago. This will ensure that bloggers are accountable for their work.” Nsengiyumva pointed out that; “Majority of the stories today don’t reflect any ethical standards, this, in turn, tarnishes the country’s media sector. Bloggers have to be accountable.” “Secondary, YouTube generates money. And like the rest of the Rwandan society, journalists are tasked to be part of the socio-economic development of the country. So I think this is a good thing” Henry Mapesa, a PR and journalism lecturer at Mount Kenya University Rwanda, says that to some extent, the move is controversial. Mapesa advises that the best option is to consult all the stakeholders before the development can be implemented. “It’s a bit complicated because when I look at it these days, all media houses use YouTube. But now the challenge is, I think this is only happening in Rwanda at least in the region.” “I am wondering like Universities we have students with their YouTube channels. And even other institutions. So personally, I think it needs all stakeholders together and have a clear say about it.” RMC speaks out Contacted for a comment, Emmanuel Mugisha, the RMC Executive Secretary, noted that, “The reason for this is clear. Considering the number of complaints RMC has received from the public and adjudicated through media self-regulation mechanisms, the majority of them are filed against online media publishers including YouTube bloggers. This becomes a concern in this profession.” Mugisha added that: “We are not doing this for regulatory purposes, rather we are doing this for recognition purposes. When a YouTube blogger offends a certain group of people, we have to hold them accountable.” He also clarified that various meetings have been conducted between journalists and the organisation. When asked about the time to implement this development, Mugisha declined to give official dates, citing that the deadline has been passed. As long as you are convinced that you are not in the process of mainstream media, gathering news and all those aspects.