Kananga, 5 September 2012 - Senior members of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) in Kasaï Occidental province visited Tshikapa, a town located about 265 km from Kananga, the provincial administrative capital. The joint mission conducted by the Public Information Office, the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office, and the Corrections Unit, started on 30 August and ended on 3 September 2012. The aim of this venture was to help media professionals in the region to get more familiar with, and to respect, the code of ethics of journalism.
The ignorance of, and non-compliance with, the code of ethics was often blamed by a section of the population for the lack of professionalism and integrity in the practice of journalism, which is the root cause of many conflicts, especially during sensitive periods such as elections.
MONUSCO team carried out the mission at the behest of the Vice-Chairman of the « Union nationale de la Presse du Congo (UNPC) » in Kasaï Occidental, Laurent Lukengu, after noticing several violations of media ethics during the previous elections in Tshikapa.
The city mayor, Laurent Kambulu, welcomed the meeting and criticized “a certain category of the Media that can easily get caught in the political leadership’ trap.” The head of the civil society, Corneille Mbombo, for her part, said “the media must stick to the facts and fully play their part as ‘firefighters’ and catalyst for development and peace in our society.”
At the end of the workshop, the 35 participants expressed the hope to see such meetings between government officials and journalists take place more often in the province in order to remove the suspicion that exists between the media and the authorities.
Lansana Dabo/ MONUSCO