CNC officially launches issuance of national press card

Burundi Media Regulator -CNC officially launched the issuance of a national press card this July 30. Journalists say these cards will allow them easy access to information sources.

Press cards issued to journalists from various media outlets

“More than 1,500 journalists submitted their applications for press cards to CNC.
772 of them working for 42 media outlets met the eligibility criteria to get a press card,” said Nestor Bankumukuzi, CNC chairman at the ceremonies of launching the issuance of this professional card.
He has said 400 press cards have already been made and are available at the CNC office. Press cards are not yet required to journalists to do their job.

“It’s a joy for me to receive a national press card. It will allow me to easily access sources, especially the administrative authorities who accuse us of working for the opposition,” says a journalist working for an independent media.

Onésime Harubuntu, legal representative of the Association of Radio stations broadcasting from Burundi-[ABR] says that issuing press cards to journalists will correct misunderstandings that often erupt between journalists and sources of information. He refers to the administrative authorities who often refuse to give information to journalists arguing that they work illegally.

Willy Nyamitwe, Senior Advisor to the President of Burundi finds that the issuance of press cards will determine the status of journalists “Yesterday or even today, fighters, politicians and other people have disguised themselves as journalists to say that Burundi situation is worse,” he says.

Mr Nyamitwe calls on CNC to be careful when analyzing the applications for a press card in order to give it to journalists working professionally. He has asked journalists who will cover the 2020 electoral process not to exacerbate the stakes of victory or defeat “You have to avoid scary reporting. The electoral process should not scare anyone,” he says.

Nestor Bankumukunzi recalled that the press law provides for the temporary or permanent withdrawal of the press card to journalists who commit serious professional misconduct.