As the media nears The government will soon file a proposal to parliament to amend several laws, including the media law, to make the industry self-regulatory.
According to the Director General in Ministry of Information, Ignatius Kabagambe, some articles would be revised to ease the media’s self regulatory process.
“Other laws that will be amended include the Media High Council law and the law governing the Rwanda Bureau of Information and Broadcasting (ORINFOR),” he revealed.
“Regarding the self regulation, journalists will form a press association that will issue codes covering journalistic ethics and editorial standards. Editors will be held accountable for the articles in their newspapers while journalists will settle complaints amongst themselves and issue public judgments that will inform revisions of the code,” said Kabagambe.
“Where the association publishes a finding against a newspaper, they will arbitrate between the paper and complainant to get satisfaction – and a printed apology.
Where the complainant is not satisfied, they have recourse to law. This approach requires investment and expertise to help the association do this.”
Meanwhile, as the media becomes self regulatory, the government has devised a plan to change ORINFOR from a State to a Public broadcaster, and according to Kabagambe, while ORINFOR had recently acted as a public broadcaster, the law does not explicitly define it as a public broadcaster nor does it bequeath its Director General sufficient independent status to drive changes that the institution needs.
“That can significantly hamper efficiency and ability to make the best quality programmes. The management of ORINFOR will be reporting to its board which is composed of independent people,” said Kabagambe.