The media landscape is changing, not only in Rwanda and East Africa but globally. The changes are happening fast and are having a substantial impact on our societies, just like fast food.
Digital media has replaced print and the business model of the maximizing the number of clicks has led even well established media outlets to start serving easily digestible and simplified content. The access to internet has created immense opportunities for people to express themselves and make themselves heard but it has also created a space for click baits and fake news.
During the East African Communications Association conference in Kigali the Swedish Ambassador to Rwanda, Jenny Ohlsson, highlighted this issue and called it ”fast food content”. ”Fast food content” is a media content online that is simplified to create an increased number of clicks.
– Digital literacy and journalists who have the skills to work in a digital environment are key to tackle this, says Jenny Ohlsson.
The Swedish-Rwanda cooperation in media covers both capacity building in local radio stations as well as historical archiving of public radio in Rwanda. The embassy also have a special cooperation with Swedish Fojo media Institute, to strengthen the school of journalism and communication at the university of Rwanda.
– I therefore want to thank both the university of Rwanda and Fojo for the important efforts and good cooperation, and I am happy to note that is trough this partnership with Swedish Fojo that this conference in Kigali funded,” said Jenny Ohlsson to Kaminuza Star.
The debate is a lot of on the economics of media business in 21st century closely reflects the debate we’re having in Sweden”. She added.
Ohlsson states that media only can serve to the public interests if the public broadcasting agencies are independent. This is crucial to both serving to the public interests and earning money from the business.
– It is a true pleasure to be able to represent the Swedish government at this important conference.