Rwanda: Report shows gaps in promoting independent regulatory system among Rwandan media

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - The 2016 edition of Rwanda Media Barometer (RMB), released Monday by the Rwanda Government Board (RGB), indicates that training for media practitioners remains not yet satisfactory both in number and contents while the independent and transparent regulatory system in the media licensing is still limited,

According to the report, released on the African Information Day, with the aim to assess the state of media development in the country, media practitioners [in Rwanda] work in economically unstable conditions, lack of consultations in decision-making processes about the allocation of frequencies.

In addition, researchers found that the lack of regular consultations with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the media sector to design the plan for spectrum allocation, as well as discrimination between State owned and private media outlets as regards allocation of advertisement, has been described as another impediment to promote the plurality and diversity of media in the country

However, of the seven indicators of Rwanda Media Barometer (RMB) 2016, freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity of the media indicator score high, but researchers insisted on the need to review the current penal code aimed at decriminalizing defamation.

As regards the existing type of channel of information in the country, Radio broadcast proved the most important channel (95.5%) through which ordinary people receive information on the country, followed by community meetings (59.2%). Internet/social media (9.4%), newspapers (15.3%) and television (26%) remain among the least used, the report said.

According to results of the survey, central government officials, police officers and local government officials have been mentioned among people who forced media practitioners to reveal their sources.

Rwanda Media Barometer (RMB) 2016 is released at a time Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) indicates that the number of radio stations in the East African nation has increased from 2 in 2004 to 32 in 2015 of which the majority, running on commercial purposes, are struggling with financial constraints.

The same report indicates that Local television stations have also grown from two in 2013 to 10 in 2015.

Rwandan officials are convinced that despite the remarkable development of the media industry in the country, this situation doesn’t mean that there are no challenges since media practitioners and news organisations which remain financially challenged, with experts blaming the weak financial muscle on a weak private sector.
-0- PANA TWA/VAO 7Nov2016

07 november 2016 15:40:46

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