The government will push private investors to join the media industry, Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi announced on Monday while presenting the government’s 2011-2017 agenda to a joint parliamentary session.
He said government plans to continue building the capacity of the media to ensure the vibrancy of the industry, with will, knowledge and capacity to give Rwandans useful news.
“We will also be calling upon private investors to put money in the media which reaches many especially private television stations,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, government will also establish realistic plans to prop up the reading culture – starting from young children, among others.
The media programme is number nine in the general good governance pillar and according to the premier; government will focus on persuading public institutions to publicise pertinent information within not later than a day.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s presentation on plans for the media, several journalists told The New Times that government should do even more.
Elias Nizeyimana, of Radio Flash FM, said the Great Lakes Media Centre (GLMC) is a welcome initiative but was “not enough.”
The centre, which is attached to the National University of Rwanda offers a Diploma course to practising journalists.
“The GLMC is here but it is not enough. Other schools should be set up so as to bring in more professionalism,” Nizeyimana said.
Simon Kamuzinzi, of Isango Star Radio, noted that the Premier put emphasis on issues related to finances but failed to underline on aspects of access to information.
“I know the law is in Parliament but even much more emphasis should be placed to the issue of access to information. Directors of institutions, for example, must be compelled to understand that access to information is critical,” Kamuzinzi said.
Meanwhile, while marking the African Media Day, in Kigali, on Monday, journalists urged for more professionalism among practitioners, and support from the government and other stakeholders.
Local journalists cited low levels of investment in the media industry as a major bottleneck.