Having a passion for journalism is something that a few have managed to keep. The flame still burns in a few who have sought other walks of life. They find themselves looking back at a profession they love.
Just can’t let go
The dynamism and speed required to beat the afternoon deadlines to submit and layout stories, the heated discussions from young and informed chaps in the newsroom.
(Marketing Specialist RCIPRW, RDB IT)
Which media company did you work for and how long?
I joined the media at the age of 19 with The Rwanda Herald, a newspaper that seized existing as soon as the owner, Ibrahim Bisiika returned to his home in Uganda. I immediately joined The New Times and while there, I also part-timed as an English presenter on Radio 10 although I was a student pursuing a Bachelors in Business administration BBA Marketing at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
What do you miss in media?
There is a bucketful of things that I miss about the media especially the print media. The dynamism and speed required to beat the afternoon deadlines to submit and layout stories, the heated discussions from young and informed chaps in the newsroom.
The beauty of the media is how things are done fast and accurately contrary to many organizations where you will find many people dragging their feet when it comes to executing tasks.
What challenges did you face while practicing journalism?
There is always a debate on whether there is freedom of speech or not in Rwanda and I personally think that there is freedom of speech but there is not a good number of right guys in the profession. I would wish to spell out the challenges but I don’t think there is enough space in the newspaper.
Why did you quit the profession?
I never left the media but just stopped being a full time journalist; however I still contribute to the newspapers when I have less on my shoulders.
I felt that it was important for me to go out of fulltime journalism and add different skills and experience in my docket. This is against the background of valuing the tenet of diversification skills and knowledge.
I figured that I had accumulated quite commendable experience and skills in terms of reporting, editing and media marketing and management in both electronic and print media.
She misses the assignments
Which media house did you work for?
I worked with The New Times, Newsline and lastly and Rwanda Focus media.
For how long did you practice journalism?
I attained a Diploma in Journalism from the Institute of Mass communication Nakawa, Uganda and practiced the profession for a period of four years.
What do you miss about journalism?
I miss the assignments or tasks given by Editors, and the pressure of beating deadlines.
What challenges did you face while practicing the profession?
Access to information is limited to media. The public thinks that journalists never went to school and are uneducated. If you have a Diploma in Mass Communication, they will always ask, why you are practicing Journalism.
Why did you quit?
The reasons are very personal and I will not go into details.
I miss the interaction and debates…
Paul Jules Ndamage
(Mayor Kicukiro District)
Which media house did you work for long?
I have attained a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from the National University of Rwanda, Butare, I worked for TVR (Rwanda Television) as a News anchor/ Reporter and was head of programs for Radio Rwanda for a period of 11years.
What do you miss about journalism?
I miss the interaction and the different encounters shared by fellow journalists especially during the debates that aired both on Radio and Television since my dealings mostly covered the electronic media than print.
What challenges did you face as a journalist?
The challenge media faces is inadequate funds to circulate and finance the media as a business for example; in print media the number of Newspapers distributed is very limited that they are usurped in the urban areas thus leaving out other parts of the country.
Why did you quit Journalism?
Quitting is not the word for my situation since I was elected as Mayor. But journalism is a very wonderful profession since it aims at informing and educating the public and it’s always a part and parcel of my life.
Journalism is a calling
Ruth Wanjiru Mungai Kang’ong’oi (Owner of Ivory Creations Ltd)
Which media houses have you worked for?
In 2005 I corresponded for Nation Media Group Swahili publication known as Taifa Leo then left to take care of my then two and a half year old daughter Ivory among other issues.
I got back in 2007 and worked for a southern Sudan Newspaper based in Nairobi called The Sudan Mirror as a features writer and edited supplements. In January 2009, I joined The New Times Daily, Rwanda and resigned to search for greener pastures in October the same year.
What do you miss about Journalism?
Journalism is fun. You get to meet and interact with people in the highest of places and in the lowest of society. You get to learn a lot in your day to day life. Journalists are born not made.
In this career if you don’t have the passion you cannot make it, since it is like a calling. It’s addictive ‘once a journalist you will always be one.’ I must admit I was never an adrenaline journalist but look forward to being one.
What challenges did you face?
Dealing with editors who will always change your story and when you read it you feel like you aren’t the one who wrote it.
Having to walk miles and facing difficulties trying to get a juicy story only to come back to the newsroom and your editor asks what was in your head and why you brought such a shady, shallow dry story.
Also covering the launch of a certain brand of a brewery and not having a chance to taste the brand because you have to file in the story in time.
Why did you quit journalism?
I never quit but just took a break in search for greener pastures in marketing. I am trying to run a small company known as Ivory Creations LTD in Rwanda which deals with event management, promotional items, design and print.
I am also the Rwandan correspondent of a Netherlands Television network called Metropolis of the VPRO media house in Holland. Although I was trained in print media, I am having fun learning broadcasting.