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Media freedoms: Regional scribes meet in Kigali

Published on: 30-09-2014

Media practitioners from the region meet today in Kigali for a dialogue on media freedoms where they will discuss a peer review mechanism on self-regulation and access to information.

The meeting, organisers say, is to consider best practices from some countries that can take the sector to the next level, as well as best ways to counter the Western media’s often flawed portrayal of matters on the continent.

Gerald Mbanda, the head media and communication at Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), told reporters yesterday that, among others, regional journalists will discuss the possibility of having their own peer review mechanism, instead of often waiting for outsiders to do the job for them.

“One of the things that ought to be considered is whether there can be a scientific way of enabling media research. Journalists will share best practices from their respective countries and we will then draw from these to see what can take Rwandan journalism forward,” Mbanda said.

Alphonse Nkusi, a local media expert, told The New Times that a regional peer review framework is vital.

“Media in the region need to work in a peer environment to enhance quick access to information and less hindrance across borders. Accreditation should be across the eastern African region,” Nkusi said.

The Chief Executive of RGB, Prof. Anastase Shyaka, said media practitioners need to be open to perspectives from their regional colleagues, especially so as to ably take charge and form “our own” peer review mechanisms, among others, without interference by Western media.

About 15 experts from the region and beyond will attend the dialogue that brings together journalists from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, the DR Congo and other regional countries.

The event is organised by RGB, Rwanda Journalists Association and the Media High Council.

Published by The New Times.

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