The Media High Council (MHC) will next month launch a nationwide campaign to sensitize the public on the rights and obligations of the media.
In particular, the media watchdog intends to draw the public’s attention on the journalists’ rights to access to information and on the practice of giving allowances or per diem or ‘transport’ allowances to journalists during conferences and workshops.
The campaign will kick off with the three districts of Kigali City, according to Patrice Mulama, the Executive Secretary of MHC.
Speaking to The New Times, this week, Mulama said that the campaign is aimed at fighting corruption among some journalists from some local media organizations who ask for allowances in exchange of coverage or attending workshops.
“We have cases where some journalists ask for perdiem whenever they are invited to cover a story. This is unethical as far as the profession of journalism is concerned,” said Mulama.
He said that such actions compromise professionalism and the quality of journalists, adding that one does not need to pay a journalist to do their job.
Mulama attributed the practice to ignorance in both public and private institutions. He also said that, because of anticipation of perdiem, known as “Giti” among local media practitioners, people who masquerade as journalists and attend conferences yet never publish the stories.
He urged media owners and leaders to develop mechanisms to enforce professionalism within their respective media outlets.
“In order for the media to do their job well, they have a responsibility to fight corruption in the industry,” Mulama said.