KIGALI - The Minister of Information Louise Mushikiwabo, has dismissed Charles Kabonero’s claims that the Rwandan government does not favour journalists. Speaking to the BBC, Mushikiwabo blamed the misconception to careless journalists who report biased information and end up into trouble with the authorities. “I don’t understand why some journalists have failed to know this. Influenced reporting is one of the reasons why they claim harassment yet it is lack of professionalism that beats them at their own game,” said Mushikiwabo in an angry tone.
The minister who confessed to being new in the ministry admitted the need of the press for development to take place.
“The media enables citizens to be informed and participate in their society, which generates real empowerment. Accurate, fair and unbiased reporting is the best defence against ignorance and uninformed decision-making,” said she.
She also condemned unreliable reporters who have constantly thwarted the Government’s efforts to develop a professional media.
“We hope to increase the ability and ethics by paying school fees for journalists at the Great Lakes Media Centre,” she said, adding only responsible journalists would benefit from the offer.
She warned the public against taking what is read in the papers as the Biblical truth and requested them to understand the intentions of some journalists before they believe what is written.
On May 3rd 2008, World Press Freedom Day four papers were locked out of the celebrations due to irresponsible reporting.