East Africa Press Councils established to enhance media standards and independence

The East Africa Press Council Board members paid a courtesy call on EAC Secretary General

Arusha, Tanzania | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The East Africa Press Councils (EAPC), a regional media regulatory initiative, has officially launched to standardize media practices and promote an independent media landscape within the East African Community (EAC). Acting as an overarching organization, the EAPC unites media regulatory authorities from EAC Partner States and aims to support free, professional, and accountable media.

EAC Secretary General, Peter Mathuki, expressed optimism about the EAPC’s potential positive impact, anticipating a more independent media environment that can advance democracy, social justice, and human rights across the expanded EAC region. Mathuki emphasized the importance of independent journalism in a democratic system and called for enabling, rather than stifling, media regulation.

He stressed the essential role of a vibrant media in achieving social justice, accountability, and the protection of human rights. Mathuki noted that without robust, independent journalism, society, especially marginalized groups, loses the means and information to hold leaders accountable.

The Secretary General also emphasized the importance of a well-informed media about the integration process, as the media plays a crucial role in conveying the integration message to the grassroots. He called for media empowerment in integration matters.

Representing Tanzania’s Minister of Information, Communication, and Technology, Mohbare Matinyi urged the media to use new technologies to inform the public on significant matters. He warned against the misuse of digital media for personal interests and expressed hope that the EAPC would serve as a valuable forum for media councils to exchange experiences and promote an accountable, independent media.

Kajubi Mukajanga, Chairperson of the EAPC and Executive Director of the Media Council of Tanzania, outlined EAPC’s commitment to strengthening and promoting independent media regulatory bodies in East Africa, focusing on self-regulation and fostering media pluralism and diversity.

David Omwoyo, the EAPC Secretary and CEO of the Media Council of Kenya, emphasized the importance of universal media standards across the EAC region, highlighting challenges posed by different regulatory standards.

Emmanuel Mugisha, EAPC Treasurer and Executive Secretary of the Rwanda Media Commission, highlighted Rwanda’s efforts in media literacy and empowering the media to inform and educate the public. He stressed the importance of African nations sharing their own stories to counter negative portrayals and promote a just image of the continent.

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