The Rwanda cabinet has approved a resolution that will see the media entrusted with the powers to regulate itself.
The meeting, chaired by President Paul Kagame, resolved that media regulation, initially handled by the Media High Council, be entrusted to a body of media professionals.
According to the Minister of Cabinet affairs, Protais Musoni, the decision means that the media fraternity will now form an association or organisation that will perform the regulatory duties.
“Just like doctors or lawyers do, members of the media can form an association of professionals who will then develop a conduct with standards to be observed,” Musoni explained.
“In this case when one of the members commits something shameful, the association can deregister him or her, like it is in the bar association of lawyers.”
The Minister noted that the decision came out of the desire of government to professionalize the media with a standard code of conduct. He noted that a mechanism to ensure that the code of conduct is respected will also be developed.
“It is a process. In 2002, it was the government regulating the media. Later, we created the MHC which was made up by both the government and the private media, and now this is the new step we are taking, where the media is regulating itself,” Musoni said.
The Minister noted that this will be a much longer process with several programmes to be initiated.
He said that the MHC will continue to play the role of capacity building, advocacy and also handle administrative issues such as accreditation and issuance of press cards.