Recently, the East African Journalists Association (EAJA), in conjunction with the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) met in Kigali and agreed to change the trend set by the Western media watchdogs on the situation of media freedom in Africa.
For many years, we have been treated to these skewed reports, the bitter truth being that we knew they held no element of fact, but rather based on sentiments and at times politically driven.
The ‘Kigali Declaration’ is, therefore, timely and will ensure that African practitioners determine where abuses have occurred in the media and propose possible remedies.
African media watch dogs will be comprised of people on the ground who contextually understand issues.
International watchdogs get it wrong and end up releasing reports that are inaccurate and prejudiced.
Practitioners, not only in the region, but on the entire continent, should make sure that the outcome of the meeting in Kigali is consolidated so that in the end, we get balanced reports that are based on facts.
As was pointed out by the president of FAJ, African media unions have to take the lead by positioning themselves as the source of information to discourage these international watchdogs whose agenda is counter to the interests of the African people.