Rwanda has gone through various phases in the evolution of media policy that reflects the country’s unique historical experience and demands of building a cohesive and responsible society. The year 2013 however, marked the highlight of the media sector reform process with the introduction of a new law regulating the media, the Law determining the new responsibilities and functioning of the Media High Council (MHC), the Rwanda broadcasting Agency Law that transforms the former state broadcaster into a public service broadcaster, and the Law relating to Access to Information. The key outcome of these reforms, however, was the removal by the Government of Rwanda, of the responsibility for media regulation from the Media High Council (MHC), a statutory body, to a self-regulatory mechanism managed by the media practitioners themselves. This highlight marked a shift from statutory regulation to self-regulation. As such, the Rwanda Media Commission (RMC) -Media Self Regulatory Body was borne out of these reforms to take on the role of defining and implementing a self-regulatory mechanism that reflects a relationship between the media and the public, based on mutual recognition of the key values of media freedom and responsibility.
The Law N0. 02/2013 of 08/02/2013 Regulating Media most especially in its Article 2 (Para 20) clearly states how a self regulatory body is set up. It is from this background that a General Assembly of all Rwandan journalists held on 27/8/2013 unanimously set up Rwanda Media Commission, Media Self Regulatory Body.
The Commission has a triple mission of a) promoting, nurturing and protecting ethical journalistic practices; b) defending media freedom; and c) speaking on behalf of the media fraternity as a whole, especially in relation to the promotion and protection of ethical principles and media freedom.