Knight International Journalism Fellowships

Rwanda: From Hate Radio to Responsible Reporting


In a country where radio helped incite genocide, Knight International helped produce balanced broadcasts on the recovering nation. Knight Fellow Sputnik Kilambi improved newscasts in French and Kinyarwandan and launched the first news programs in English at the country's first privatized independent radio station, Contact FM.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Launched English-language news service that is used by government leaders and is attracting new sponsors.

  • Raised the station's profile: Before the U.S. president's 2008 visit to Africa, five African journalists were invited to interview George W. Bush at the White House. Contact FM was the only representative of independent media.

  • Launched news analysis show that distinguishes itself with its in-depth exploration of subjects such as the global economic downturn, the food and fuel crises, and the war crimes tribunal in the Hague.

  • Increased coverage of East Africa, focusing on neighbors Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Congo.

  • Developed special series on woman's issues including the fate of Rwandan women refugees in neighboring Congo.

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