A call for Rwanda’s media to debunk falsehoods

During his monthly Presidential news conference yesterday, President Paul Kagame challenged the local journalists to set the record straight with regard to the situation of the media in the country and debunk foreign claims that government is oppressive and a media predator.

During his monthly Presidential news conference yesterday, President Paul Kagame challenged the local journalists to set the record straight with regard to the situation of the media in the country and debunk foreign claims that government is oppressive and a media predator.

The president was responding to a journalist’s concern that some media watch dogs and critics, including the rampant ‘Reporters Without Borders’ who have continuously reported misleading and inconsistent news about the state of Rwanda’s media without research.

The recent report by ‘Reporters Without Borders’ was wrong when it suggested that government does not tolerate embarrassing questions at news conferences. It was also wrong when it claimed that every year several Rwandan journalists go into exile because of harassment by government.

For those who live in Rwanda and follow national news, it was not surprising that Umuseso and Umuvugizi were suspended for not only being unethical and unprofessional, but were dangerously leading the Rwandan people to the dark days of the 1994  Genocide against the Tutsi

For Rwandan media practitioners it is probably time for us to come out and resist this kind of black mail through the
same channels.

Most of the malicious reports on Rwanda, written by politically motivated people and some journalists who have never stepped on Rwandan soil, are published in ‘relay media’ and platforms including blogs and the Internet.

Since these platforms are free and readily available for anyone to use without any constraints other than Internet connectivity, it is time for Rwandan journalists to tell the world the truth and counteract all that
ill intentioned critics want to convey to the world.

Ends

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