Capacity Building and Professionalisation of the Media in Rwanda
Journalism in Rwanda cannot be understood without consideration for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the time leading up to the Genocide. This affects everything from media legislation to journalists’ caution and widely reported self-censorship, as well as public skepticism towards the media and its role in society.
However, the media sector in Rwanda has undergone major reconstruction during recent years. The liberalisation of media laws in 2013, the transformation of the former state broadcaster into the Public Service Media provider Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) and the Access to Information Law, are some key developments. There has also been an increase in the number and nature of media outlets during recent years. The understanding of the need of professional media and the value it can provide is growing stronger.
The programme engages three main areas in Rwandan media:
Commercial and Non-Profit Media. The programme aims to strengthen the ability of Rwandan media and journalists to become independent and financially sustainable and to produce high quality public interest journalism. This will be achieved through measures to strengthen media houses, journalists and media managers, both with regards to business management, audience research and with capacity building of journalistic skills and the management of a multi-media newsroom.
The Public Service Media Provider, RBA. The programme also aims to strengthen the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) in its transformation to become an independent, trustworthy and sustainable Public Service Media (PSM) provider, according to international journalistic and public service standards. This will be done through continued peer-to-peer institutional capacity building between RBA and SR MDO, drawing on expertise from all three PSM providers in Sweden.
Journalism Education Institutions at University Level. The programme will also strive to strengthen journalism education in Rwanda to enhance its contribution to the professionalisation of the journalism sector. The relationship between the Rwandan media sector and the journalism schools will be strengthened, journalism education institutions will be offered opportunities to increase their skills concerning practical journalism, awareness of gender issues, and the programme will connect them to international experiences, including relevant research.