Media

Referendum vote: Burundian media professionals urged to work in synergy

Nestor Bankumukunzi, Minister of Communication, Information and Technologies has met, this 26 March, all representatives of media organizations, leaders of the National Media Council and the National Independent Electoral Commission. They have discussed the role of the media in the constitutional amendment process. “Media professionals play a great role in the success of the referendum process and other elections”, says Minister Bankumukunzi.

Nestor Bankumukunzi: “The Ministry of Communication plans to set up a technical commission that will indicate the coverage roadmap to the referendum”

Nestor Bankumukunzi: “The Ministry of Communication plans to set up a technical commission that will indicate the coverage roadmap to the referendum”

He says a technical commission composed of media organizations’ representatives, journalists, media technicians, members of media council and electoral commission will be set up in two days. He says the commission’s main objective will be to identify all issues, opportunities and security of journalists that will be deployed to work in synergy so as to cover the referendum process. “The achievements of the commission will help the Ministry of Communication have a clear and precise idea about what the media organizations need and then plead for them so that they can have financial support and equipment,” he says.

Minister Bankumukunzi calls on media professionals to refer to the past electoral process to avoid making mistakes. “Referring to what happened in 2010 and 2015, media professionals must respect the media ethics while covering the whole process,” he says.

Claude Nkurunziza, Managing Director of Rema Radio and TV, says his organization will respect the road map that will be set up by the commission to cover the entire process. He, however, says the government should strongly support the synergy of media. “We really need to follow the referendum process very closely,” he says.

The same view is shared by Sylvère Ntakarutimana, Director of Isanganiro Radio. He says working in synergy is a good thing but the National Media Council and local administrative officials must also facilitate the work of journalists.

The constitutional referendum, which is scheduled for 17 May 2018, was officially launched by President Pierre Nkurunziza on 12 December 2017

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