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EYE journalists, Jean Aime MUHAWENAYO and Nicole GIRANEZA in the studio. Photo: Jonathan RUGAMBA/ EYE

Comment travailler en période de pandémie

En cette période de crise due à la pandémie de la Covid-19, les médias ont un grand rôle à jouer à savoir celui d’informer la population sur les attitudes à adopter pour se protéger.

La Covid-19 affecte non seulement l’économie mais aussi le social. Le coronavirus a transformé le fonctionnement des entreprises. Les Organisations Non Gouvernementales (ONG) sont également confrontées à de grands défis. En dépit des changements, les ONG ont adapté leur travail selon le contexte.

Ejo Youth Echo (EYE),  une organisation médiatique située à Kigali offre aux jeunes un environnement d’apprentissage, de partage et d’échange. EYE, partenaire à CORACON,  utilise les médias pour promouvoir une culture de la paix dans la région des Grands Lacs. Ce média basé au Rwanda produit du contenu pour et par les jeunes. Il a un magazine radiophonique hebdomadaire dénommé Ejo émission qui est diffusé sur la Voice of America (VOA 104,3 FM).

EYE collabore avec Coracon dans la production des émissions transfrontalières sur des sujets qui soutiennent la cohabitation pacifique entre les Rwandais et les Congolais. Comment cette organisation arrive-t-elle à travailler en cette période où le monde fait face à la pandémie de la Covid-19 ?

La réponse à cette question est à retrouver dans l’article (redigé en anglais) ci-dessous:

How our Rwandan friends copes with Covid19

In this time of Corona crisis, media is regarded as the real forth within the country, holding power to account in the public interest, looking for lockdown answers. Now, more than ever, the role of media is crucial in ensuring that the public mood is communicated and acted upon (Happer, 2020). Though some media outlets were working from home, they played a big role in the Rwandan community responding to Covid19.

Coronavirus has transformed how companies and organizations work. The current attention is given on how the virus is affecting the economy, especially industries, businesses and services as key sectors. NGO are facing large challenges as well. But despite the changes, NGO have organized different radio and TV shows, and used social media to engage their audience to cope with quarantine and respect prevention measures.

Ejo Youth Echo (EYE), a partner of Coracon, is a media organization that is determined to provide youth with a learning, sharing and exchange environment. It uses media to promote a culture of peace in the great lakes region, and it has the uniqueness to be the only media in the country that produces youth content produced by youth itself: a weekly radio magazine called Ejo emission that is broadcast by Voice of America (VOA 104.3 FM). For example, one radio show about what youth have benefited during lockdown as they got enough time to learn new skills, another one about online dating, if one can settle with a person they met on social media.

During this difficult time for everyone, Ejo Youth Echo, as a media organization, has also been operating in different ways. In the beginning of the pandemic, the team has been producing short videos to post on social media like Twitter and Instagram related to preventive measures, to mobilize citizens, most especially the youth to take the first step to fight Covid19 as the future of the nation by staying home, washing well their hands and practicing social distancing when they have to go out.

Even though some of its projects have been on hold as well, the team did not just sit and wait for the pandemic to go away, which is not ending any time soon anyway. EYE journalists adapted themselves to mobile journalism and other journalistic pieces were being produced and submitted using internet.

Nicole GIRANEZA and Jean Aime MUHAWENAYO, are journalists who managed to go to the studio during the lockdown. They share their experience; ‘‘transport wasn’t easy, and phone interviews were not as good as face to face when you see the reactions of respondents’’ said Jean Aime. Nicole also says that transport was the biggest challenge, but she could manage to walk to the office as she lived nearby.

Also, through feedbacks from our audience, the number of listeners increased during lockdown compared to previous times. Youth got enough time to listen to Ejo emission and learned a lot from it. This also motivates the team to put more efforts to motivate, entertain and inform their fellows.

As lockdown eases in Rwanda, Ejo Youth Echo’s team started going to the field, following protection measures while interviewing people face to face. This includes keeping one meter distance and wearing masks as well. Meetings and editorial meetings are still being held in distance, which we hope, it is going back in line soon.

Although protection rules have been eased and life is going back to normal, business companies and organizations still have a lot of things to accomplish; like adapting to changes and readjusting their calendars that have been on hold, but most especially preparing for the future. Generally, Coronavirus outbreak has affected the whole world, hit countries, businesses and individuals. Fortunately, the number of new cases and death tolls are falling, but this does not mean that we are totally free from the virus, we have to keep fighting for better.

Henriette NISHIMWE