Media Freedom and Advocacy
According to the Blueprint for Media Self-regulation in Rwanda which is the key document spelling out the functioning of RMC, besides promoting, nurturing and protecting ethical journalistic practices, RMC also has the mandate of defending media freedom and speaking on behalf of the media fraternity. In pursuit of this mandate, RMC provides a voice for journalists and a platform to address media freedom, especially in line with Articles 11, 12, 12 and 14 of the Media Law that spell out the rights of journalists which include the right to establish a media company, the right to collect information, respect of a journalist’s confidentiality, and the right of a journalist to call on any resourceful person as a news source. RMC ensures that these rights, as well as others, are well protected in order to ensure media freedom.
Advocacy: In order to ensure that the rights of journalists are protected, RMC is involved in advocacy activities that highlight not only the rights of journalist, but also their duties and responsibilities. By doing so, RMC ensures that there is proper understanding of the role of media in society thereby eliciting public support. Advocacy activities target mainly institutions with various mandates such as government, civil society and security organs.
Protection of journalists: Besides advocacy for journalists’ rights, RMC provides specific remedies in case of infringement on journalistic rights. This mandate is provided for under Article 15 of the Media Law, which states that “A journalist whose rights recognised by this law are not respected may lodge a petition with the Media Self Regulatory Body or any other competent organs to amicably resolve any matter”. Accordingly, RMC has handled, and continues to handle, cases involving journalists in respect to their rights and privileges.