Many media houses, just like human rights organisations, have over time showed some lazy streaks; instead of going to the field to seek the truth, they prefer recycling their peers’ reports and biases.
Few will report success stories opting for the negative, gory or anything that can capture their audience’s attention, whether true or false.
But to the local scene; the Rwandan media community is always portrayed as restricted. Media watchdogs would rather copy and paste from past reports than give credit where it’s due.
Few will ever report that the country has one of the most progressive media legislation; it is self-regulated and the Access to Information Law is in place.
The Office of the Ombudsman, in charge of implementing the law, has over the week been holding workshops that brought together information officers in government institutions and the media.
The aim was to sensitise government press officers on what the law entail: they are the custodians of information but they are under obligation to release the information to the public whenever requested to do so. There are no negotiations..
Information is a powerful instrument however one uses it. The Access to Information Law should help open new avenues for the local media, but the question that lingers: will they take full advantage of it?
That is where they can help rewrite the Rwandan media narrative because they have been given the tools, they should not waste them.