The Governor of the Eastern Province, Judith Kazayire has hailed the contribution of the media in security and socio-economic transformation of communities.
The Governor was speaking on Thursday in Rwamagana District during a Rwanda National Police (RNP) interaction session with the media fraternity operating in the Eastern Province.
She, however, said that although the media is the public watchdog and mouthpiece for the community, it should do so with utmost ethical standards.
“In exercising your duties, you should do so taking into account public interests rather than misleading them,” Governor Kazayire said.
She reiterated commitment to fully implement the access to information law and called on public officials in the province to always facilitate journalists with the information they need.
The dialogue brought together officials from the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), Office of the Ombudsman and Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA)
Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Theos Badege, the RNP spokesperson said that the force values the contribution of the media in crime prevention.
“The role of the media in crime reporting and prevention cannot be overstated. Professional media is a strong engine for growth and development,” ACP Badege said.
He, however, said that development cannot be realized in an environment of lawlessness and insecurity, and called for strong partnership to educate the public on their role to fight crimes.
He noted that RNP will hold such sessions in all provinces as has been the practice in the past.
Emmanuel Mugisha, the executive secretary of RMC, on his part, noted that the media have rights but also major responsibilities.
He asked journalist to the work within the confinements of the law and ethical standards.
While commenting on the access to information law, Jean Aime Kajangana from the Office of Ombudsman said that the law defines privileges accorded to the news media to access government and other public information.
He, nonetheless, noted that information can be denied based on clearly defined boundaries in the law.
“Some information deemed to threaten national security or interfering with justice can be denied but reasons communicated to the seekers of that information,” Kajangana explained.
Journalists operating in the Eastern Province asked for improvement in accessing information from district officials including mayors.
To realize this, they said that public relations officers must be empowered to share timely and accurate information with media.