The School of Journalism and Communication is hosting the 7th East African Communication Association Conference for the first time. The theme of this annual conference is “The Economics of Media Business in the 21st century.”
The 3-day conference serves as a platform for media and communication researchers, scholars, academicians, policymakers, regulators and media practitioners (journalists and editors) in the East African Community (EAC) and beyond, to share research findings in these fields and to chart ways of improving the field and the industry.
Prof. Anasthase Shyaka, the CEO of Rwanda Governance Board, who was also the Guest of Honor said, “We are grateful for the University of Rwanda to host this international conference that will discuss the progress of journalism as an independent institution which serves the public but also makes profits.”
He hopes that the outcome of this conference will help journalism in Rwanda and give ideas how to be more profitable.
However, according to Shyaka, in order for journalists and media institutions to thrive, they should combine their efforts because together they can easily make more benefits. “It is very possible because, even those who have succeeded did not start rich. The first thing is that people have confidence in themselves, and most importantly, work together. You may have 30 radio stations or 60 TV channels, but when efforts are combined, the benefits are better.”
Dr. Christopher Kayumba, a political analyst and lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication said that this conference will enable journalists and researchers to exchange ideas and knowledge.
“The 21st century journalism is quite different from the previous centuries because, that time media houses made more money by selling newspapers. But today access to information is almost free. Which has two meanings in terms of knowledge and research. What can be done so that online media can earn much money? That is very important for journalism.”
Jean Pierre Uwimana, lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication who is also attending the conference said that, “Rwandan media are not at the same level as Kenya, Uganda or other countries such as South Africa. The conference will equip us with experience. It is a good idea to develop the Rwandan media in terms of education, business and self sustenance.’’