Rwanda’s Online Media Sector is facing compulsory reshuffle as new media houses and new faces are joining the sector while others are leaving.
Also there are fears that lack of financial means will push many media practitioners to violate Journalism code of conduct as they will be forced to use dishonest means to get money.
With the recent cases where some journalists are facing criminal charges due to sensational contents published to get website hits which allows them to generate money, the Journalists Self-regulatory body RMC (Rwanda Media Commission) has moved in to remind media practioners their responsibilities otherwise a number of media Houses will be forced to close as far as the matter of professionalism is concerned.
At the recent celebration of Africa Day of Information, the Government of Rwanda emphasized its commitment to support the media sector and play continuous role in the promotion of free and responsible media.
However the sector has been criticized for lack of investigative stories as well as lack of contents that can push audience to buy their media content and attract business community to buy space for adverts which are until to date the key source of financial means among many media houses.
In the last decade many figures in Rwandan Media Sector have quitted their jobs while others preferred to redirect their career as many see pessimistically the Future of Media Industry in Rwanda.
However the Rwanda’s Media High Council optimistically projects the development of Media Sector as a business that not only benefits the citizens but also to media practitioners.
During the recently concluded Training on Modern Media Management organized by the Media High Council in Rwanda, Media Managers were able to identify key challenges in the sector namely Poor planning, lack of patience among media practitioners/owners, poor of networking skills, lack of consistency and incapacity of providing selling outlets.
Speaking at the training, the Director of Media Content, Research and Media Development Denyse Kanzayire told media Managers that “First of all media Houses should build the internal Media management.”
The training aimed at equipping media Managers with skills that will help them to run their media Houses as an income generating business.
“Whatever we can give you without strong internal management you can achieve nothing” She said.
It was also emerged that many media Houses in Rwanda have not enough staff to operate a media House as a profit Generating Business plus lack of skilled staff.
Despite gap in financial resources, there are so many opportunities in Rwanda’s media Industry, as highlighted by Media Managers, the sector possess many opportunities which include the political will of developing the sector, Media Friendly investors, access to information law, ICT Development, availability of the market and sponsorship programs among many others.
However from one hands to another, there are still threats in the industry including the advertising monopoly, undermining private media, some media houses still lack of infrastructures that can help them to reach sources and freedom of press which is still being questioned by media practioners.
The Executive Secretary of Rwanda Media High Council Peacemaker Mbungiramihigo urges media managers to be innovative as they are in a competitive market, to embrace specialization in their media houses, to always increase their skills, to change their working system and work in synergy in order to cope with the challenging business Environment.
He said that once a synergy is formed in media sector the Media High council is ready to support them.