Regional journalists train in peace reporting

At least 30 journalists from three regional states, on Wednesday, completed a two-day training to build their capacity to report and promote peace.

At least 30 journalists from three regional states, on Wednesday, completed a two-day training to build their capacity to report and promote peace.

Organised by Never Again Rwanda, the conference in Kigali attracted journalists from Burundi, DR Congo and the host country, Rwanda. 

The conference was also aimed at enabling media practitioners to effectively contribute towards building a strong foundation of ‘Never Again Genocide’ ahead of the 19th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Big role to play

Speaking during the event, Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, the coordinator of Peace Building Programme at Never Again Rwanda, said media practitioners, especially those in broadcasting, should play a lead role in informing the population of what is expected of them.

“The media played a big role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, meaning that the media is the right tool in promoting unity and reconciliation so that what happened can never happen again in Rwanda but also in the region and beyond,” said Hategekimana. 

He said the conference is one initiative developed to build capacity for journalists to use the effects of the tragedy to educate and sensitise the population to work as a team in contributing towards the country’s development.

“In Rwanda, 70 per cent of the population listen to the radio; meaning that it is an effective communication channel through which even those in rural areas can easily get the information,” he said.

Discussions

Media practitioners had time to discuss a wide range of issues, basically on reporting about conflict zones as well as peace media in the region.

David Ndagano of Masion de la Presse Kivu in DR Congo shared his experience on conflict-sensitive radio journalism in the Great Lakes region.

“As reporters, we must be objective and accountable to citizens of our respective countries; meaning that our duties should be in line with promoting peace in the region,” he said. 

Participants said the initiative will bring about a common understanding and reporting about genocide commemoration in the region as well as encouraging or leading the media to effectively contribute towards peace building.

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