Hon. Frank Habineza uttered ‘a political change’ for supporting private media in Rwanda
President of the Democratic Green party of Rwanda, lawmaker, Hon. Frank Habineza has recently emphasized and shed lights on the need for ‘political change’ for the quick implementation of ‘media development fund’ for the staggering private media in Rwanda.
The lawmaker and the presidential candidate of the previous 2017 election, made the underscores recently on a local YouTube channel interview.
He raised the voice for private media companies that they are facing hardships to sustain or survive due to limited revenues such as advertisement, grants and scholarships which are murmured to be swallowed by the public broadcasters.
As lawmakers, Habineza revealed that they are planning to urge the government to self-sponsor its Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) and deprive it from commercial advertisement to leave them for private media.
” Given that the government is the great investor, we are advocating for a budget for the public broadcaster to make it able to feed its staff without relaying on the advertisement sales. RBA should typically communicate the public announcements and programmes and leave commercial Ads for the private ones “. He stressed.
Due to financial difficulties, many private media in Rwanda are unable to build strong team and diverse staff and retain them, owing to lack of their salaries. There are cases where reporters reported their employers for not paying the salaries or sometimes ‘allowance”.
According to the recent study presented by Rwanda Governance Board( RGB), 44.5 percent of media staff accross Rwanda earn Rwf200,000 and less than that monthly. Significantly, most who earn more than than Rwf 200,000 belong to public media houses.
The Honorable also pointed out the reluctantance of journalists in reporting on political affairs, calling for journalists to ‘ feel free to report on politics’, but ethically.
” The abundance of journalists in Rwanda feel free to talk only on sports and entertainment and leave politics behind”. He added.
Though some media enthusiasts manage to make lives from citizen journalism on social media mainly YouTube, there are also concerns over existence of ‘unethical reporting’ across social media.
Some bloggers have been reportedly summoned and detained by the probing agencies over trolling victims on social media, the incidents that experts attribute to the lack of professionalism, proper regulations and intervention.
Growing number of media enthusiasts
The RGB study showed that 78% percent of journalists in Rwanda have Bachelor’s degrees, with 63.8 % having degrees in media studies while others have other degrees in other various areas.
The numbers of media graduates joining the industry have shown a significant increase, attributing to the increase of media teaching schools and universities, however, analysts express worries about the limited platforms and outstanding constraints in media that deceiving the upcoming enthusiasts.
Media graduates have grappled with finding jobs in media, eventually prompting them to run away from the profession and join other carriers for survival.
” I suspended journalism after failing to get employment. I worked as an intern for almost a year in a private newsroom but given no recruitment. I was bearing all the costs of the delivery. My editor told me that I could get the recruitment only if I prepare a radio program and come up with its sponsors and advertisers to earn the commission.” a media graduate told Rwanda Sun.
The current big number of media graduates are reportedly not working in media, and the remaining few graduates who passionately stuck on the carrier are not grateful enough.
For instance, with credible findings by Rwanda Sun, a 2018-2021 class of Journalism and Communication from University of Rwanda (UR) consisted of around 70 students, who graduated last year show that only below 10 graduates are now working in media. Other adjusted and went for other domains, consequently after finding no jobs or salaries and failed to endure.
Reliable sources from University of Rwanda, School of journalism and communication reported high numbers of media students, who are additionally expected to enlisted the contending media landscape very soon.
Not only University of Rwanda, but also other universities such as Mount Kenya University and Catholic Institute of Kabgayi ( ICK) are producing journalists, anticipated to join the industry as well.
THE RWANDA SUN