Senators, journalists discuss media role in development

Rwandan journalists capture images during a press conference in Kigali .Sam Ngendahimana.

Media owner shave raised concerns over the future of the sector if nothing is done to address the existing challenges.

The issue came up Thursday during a consultative meeting with the Senatorial Standing Committee on Political Affairs and Good Governance.

The meeting aimed at assessing the media’s role in improving lives in the country and how the sector can be supported.

During the meeting, Senate president Bernard Makuza shared his perspective of the media.

“The media has obviously played a big role in the country’s development, but a lot is still needed if we are to reach our development potential,” Makuza said.

Although there were a number of issues to discusses, the media challenges took center stage, especially the shortage of finance to keep the media houses afloat.

Makuza, cautioned journalists against making editorial decisions based solely on profit.

 “It would be a serious problem if the media are driven by business interests. They risk developing content that does not have the best interest of the Rwandan people,” he said.

While the government, through Rwanda Governance Board, earmarked over Rwf 800 million in the last five years to support media houses, this amount it too little compared to the challenges.

Didace Niyifasha, the Managing Director of Inkoramutima radio asked public institutions to go into partnerships with media houses instead of doing it internally.

Prof Anastase Shyaka, the CEO of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) pointed out that initiatives like a Savings and Credit Cooperative can sort out a lot of financial issues that arise in the sector.

According to RGB, Rwanda has more than 35 radio stations, 12 television stations, 50 newspapers, and 80 online news websites.



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