EDITORIAL: Election coverage guidelines should apply to all media

Today being the last day of nominations for the upcoming presidential elections and all interested candidates having made their intentions known, all eyes are now focused on the campaigns that will officially begin mid next month.

Today being the last day of nominations for the upcoming presidential elections and all interested candidates having made their intentions known, all eyes are now focused on the campaigns that will officially begin mid next month.

The field is not very crowded and truth be told, some are just attention seekers, just going along for the ride, to get their 15 seconds of fame.

 

Unlike other elections around the region, there is nothing to write home about Rwandan ones; there is no drama, they are peaceful.

 

One thing that sets Rwanda apart is the huge voter turnout and the organised manner. There will be no story of shortage of voting material or electoral violence. Everything will move like clockwork.

 

In fact some international organisations have said they will not bother sending any observers. That is how uneventful Rwandan elections are.

What about the media coverage, both local and international?

The regulatory body, Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), has put out a set of election coverage guidelines. It has the usual dos and don’ts that a professional journalist need not be reminded about.

But as we have seen in the past, those guidelines usually only apply to local journalists. The foreign packs that will be crawling all over are usually not concerned.

Some will come with their pre-determined agenda that RMC will be powerless to do anything about. How prepared are Rwanda Governance Board and the Media High Commission to handle that issue? Have they also got a set of guidelines for foreign media?

That begs an answer.

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