MHC to focus on capacity building
The senate has unanimously approved the bill which will leave to Media High Council (MHC) only its mandate of an institution in charge capacity building of journalists.
“In accordance with the nation media policy, MHC has to leave out the regulatory part of it so as to let the media regulate itself,” said Senator Apollinaire Mushinzimana, the head of the Senate’s committee on politics and social affairs.
According to Mushinzimana, the 2009 media law allowed MHC to control the media which is against the new media policy aiming at creating a self-regulatory media industry. “MHC was in charge of delivering work licenses, press cards, rebuking those who seem to have transgressed, but the new law defines MHC as a capacity building institution for which the main purpose is to educate, train and collaborate with different research institutions towards creating a sphere where every media practitioner has the capacity needed for the job,” stressed Mushinzimana who added that, though MHC is no longer in control, but the media also has a responsibility.
“Now it’s time for peer control. We want the main purpose for our media to be: Promoting local content. We want our cultural values to be widely heard and shared. We stand for local content production and generation in our media,” he said.
In addition, Senator Jean-Damascene Bizimana stressed that if the MHC has to build the capacity, it has also to assess and see if the needed capacity has been reached. “Some of our journalists really need to attain a certain level of professionalism, building capacity will be without effect if not assessed in the end.”
The Media High Council’s executive secretary Emmanuel Mugisha said that the self-regulation mechanism in the new law and the new MHC’s attributions show the government’s confidence in media to have attained the required maturity in order to regulate itself. “This shows that Rwanda’s media sector is becoming mature. Our capacity building program combined with a self-regulated media will make Rwanda have a vibrant, professional and sustainable media.”