Two members of the Press Club Board Josephine Latu and Ernest Sagaga and the Press Club Executive Director Laurent Brihay attended in Kigali on the 20th and 21ts of October 2016 the first ever Congress of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) press clubs, bringing together media and other stakeholders from more than 50 countries over the world.
The two-day congress opened on the 20th of October discussed media and communication in a changing global landscape and heard best practices, challenges and opportunities from participants from Eastern Africa, Caribbean, West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa and Pacific.
The Chief Executive of Rwanda Governance Board, Prof. Anastase Shyaka, told participants at the conference that though it has been used for selfish reasons in some countries, the media still has the power to positively impact democracy and development.
“The media in Africa and other developing countries has been used for years as a tool for selfish people to pursue their selfish interests, which are detrimental to society
The secretary-General of the International Association of Press Clubs, Jaroslw Włodarczyk, said the confidence in media is slowly fading and there was need to improve on the way of doing things. “Confidence in the media is slowly but continuously eroding worldwide, journalism must ensure transparency, provide specialist information, because news became a service and what we can add today is the context and meaning,” he said. Włodarczyk cited an example of Rwanda and referred to the long road to reconciliation, saying the Kigali Press Club has a chance to contribute in making a difference.
“This is exactly when the key role for reconstructive professional journalism comes in and the Kigali Press Club can be part of this process, to initiate a discussion on topics to do with journalism but also on social topics, because the essence of journalism is raising difficult topics, to initiate a discussion, journalism is a public mission,” he said.
The Head of Human Rights and Safety at the International Federation of Journalists and member of the Press Club Brussels Board, Ernest Sagaga, said that though tremendous achievements have been achieved in the media industry all over the world, there was still a challenge in terms of ethics. “For all the knowledge or experience we may have, we still see the failure to uphold our ethics,” he said. Ernest Sagaga also pointed out the issue of journalists’ security, pointing out that for over the last 20 years thousands have been killed.
On Friday 21th, the Executive director of the Press Club Brussels Europe presented to Press Clubs Colleagues the Press Club Brussels EU Model and conducted the adoption of the ACP Press Club Charter
Participants in a group photo during the meeting that is being held in Kigali. (Faustin Niyigena)