Following a number of communication between the SMC and the T&RC, the two parties met today to discuss the role of the media as part of the truth and reconciliation process. This meeting comes as part of the T&RC series of meetings with partners and stakeholders.
SMC CEO, Mr Ibrahim Afif, briefed members on the role of the SMC and the opportunities that exist for the T&RC, when working with media. The Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Gabrielle McIntyre explained that they have identified that as the setting up process take place, it is vital that the media is kept informed. In turn the media will be in a position to communicate this with the public, so that in turn they have a better understanding of the function and processes to follow when the Commission becomes fully operational.
The Chairperson spoke of a number of articles that the T&RC has already published in the various publications, as part of an effort to explain the role it will play in during the next three years and how people can file their complaints in the lead up to the public and private hearings. The commission is also in the process of identifying programmes that could carry information from the Commission, on both Television and Radio.
The SMC proposed that the T&RC meet with media houses by hosting information sessions and press conferences. The information sessions could be a platform whereby informal discussions can take place between the two parties. It could be an opportunity for media houses to be guided on how the cases will be conducted and the codes that the media would need to follow, in view of the sensitivity of some of the information that are going to be shared. Press conferences would be platforms where information can be shared with the public.
The two parties have agreed to meet for future discussions as the works of the T&RC progresses and as part of its monitoring, the SMC will follow coverage of the T&RC in line with the SMC Code of Conduct and other laws that guide the works of the media.