GITEGA May 18th (ABP) – The Chairperson of the National Media Council (CNC), Ms. Vestine Nahimana, closed a two-day exchange session on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, organized in Gitega (center of the country) to media managers and communication officers from government ministries and institutions, to assess the degree of accessibility to institutional information and to propose solutions for better and equitable accessibility to public information.
Mrs. Nahimana said in her speech that this session was organized to reflect on the establishment of a legal regulatory framework for collaboration between institutions and the media. She specified that this framework is based on the exchange of institutional information for the development and proper functioning of the media in Burundi.
According to the CNC chairperson, the media are characterized by a series of criteria, whose philosophy allows the voiceless, young, women, old, traders, farmers, craftsmen, civil servants, informal trades, and others to express themselves.
Based on the recommendations made by the participants in the workshop of April 15, 2022, it called on the communication officers to guarantee the media equitable access to sources of information. There, she called on them to consider local and community radios and other radios in the same way.
In his presentation on the degree of accessibility to institutional information, Mr. Jérôme Niyonzima recalled that in the event of an interview, the journalist must create a climate of trust, approaching the interlocutor gently and in a position of applicant.
He must, according to him, put all the assets on his side, choose the right strategy, the right place and the right tone to use, meaning that the interviewee is not the enemy of the journalist.
Mr. Niyonzima also specified that, to be successful in his interview, the journalist must know how to ask the right questions, starting with the less pointed questions, knowing how to follow up without controversy and using the “interview guide”. He must transcribe without distorting, conclude without ambiguity and must not, moreover, give up in the face of dodges and refusal of answers.
On the side of the consultant Niyonzima, the communicator must master the role of journalists to communicate better. He must be the real holder of the information and be able to provide answers to questions from journalists.
Mr. Jacques Bukuru, in his presentation on the role of a journalist and a communication officer, pointed out that the journalist has the duty to say without harming, to show without shocking, to inform without condemning and without discouraging, but also to criticize without discouraging.
According to Bukuru, the journalist and the communicator have a duty to provide the population with the most accurate and verified information possible.
It should be noted that the spokespersons present in this workshop suggested the revision of the code of conduct and ethics, and thus to promote the journalism of solutions. They called on journalists to take care of their attire, but also not to trap them during interviews, noting that they have found that there are those who ask questions for their interests other than the public interest.