KIGALI - As way of quantifying media development in the country, the Media High Council (MHC) is set establish an index dubbed the Media Development Index (MDI) that will point out the strength and weaknesses within the profession.
The MHC has hired Transparency Rwanda, a civil society organisation that fights corruption and promotes good governance to design the tools on which the index will be based.
Speaking at a validation workshop of the MDI yesterday, the council’s Executive Secretary, Patrice Mulama, observed that various challenges have frustrated the growth of the media industry and no proper approach is in place to avert the situation, saying that the new initiative would come in handy.
“We need to use the new initiative to shape our own industry and this will not only serve the media fraternity, but the country in general,” he said.
Mulama added that if successfully established, a clear picture of the Rwandan media would emerge.
“There are organisations that sit in their countries and claim that the Rwandan media is not developed, is threatened and oppressed, without carrying out any research.
“Our research will help those organisations understand the media profession in Rwanda,” Mulama stated.
He added that by the end of September this month, researchers will have completed their draft index that would guide them to achieve the final results.
According to the MHC, the promulgation of the 2002 media law liberalised the media and resulted in an increase of private media houses. Today, the country boasts of 26 radio stations, 32 newspapers and a television.
The MHC board chairman, Arthur Asiimwe, said that the index comes at a time when the media moves towards self regulation, saying that a lot would be done to support the initiative.
“It comes at an opportune moment because we are undergoing media reforms. It’s an opportunity as it will show us the development trends of our media industry,” he noted.
The chairperson of Transparency Rwanda, Immaculee Ingabire, said that media should always endeavour to be professional and independent.