Complaints Handling

The core mandate of RMC is to promote, nurture and protect ethical journalistic practices in Rwanda. The key activity in this respect is handling complaints from media consumers, including the general public and government, regarding media content. Any person or institution that may feel aggrieved by any content in the media may lodge a complaint with RMC for redress. RMC handles and disposes of these complaints based on a detailed complaints procedure, and in interpretation of the Code of Ethics. Complaints that are lodged with RMC are first scrutinized by the secretariat for substance and may be disposed of at this level. However, where the secretariat determines that a case needs to be referred, such a case is handled by the Ethics Committee and a decision in made. But where any of the parties feels dissatisfied with the decision of the Ethics Committee, they may appeal to a higher body, which is the Appeals Committee. Both the Ethics Committee and the Appeals Committee’s first consideration is an amicable resolution of the complaints under consideration, given the fact that self-regulation is built around consensual interest in the voluntary enforcement of the professional code of ethics. In this respect, sanctions are only taken as a last resort for restorative and corrective reasons, rather than retribution or punishment.