Professional development

From time to time, Burundian journalists have occasional opportunities to receive training. The main actor involved in the organisation of on-the-job training is the Maison de la Presse du Burundi (Burundi Press House), which had set up the Centre de Formation des Médias du Burundi (Centre for Burundian Media Formation - CFM), heavily affected by the crisis of 2015. Its head, Alexandre Niyungeko, at the same time President of UBJ fled to Rwanda because of threats. Funding has almost dried up, but the partners of the Maison de la Presse, including UNESCO and the French government, still lend a hand in the organisation of training on various topics, such as conflict-sensitive journalism.

Other actors like Search for Common Ground (SFCG) occasionally organise training for journalists. The already mentioned Association des Femmes Journalistes du Burundi (Association of Women Journalists - AFJO) is also trying to stir the interest of journalists in gender issues. Until the end of 2018, the William Academy organised a series of trainings on mobile journalism and conflict-sensitive journalism. UNESCO has tried to build the capacity of community radios through ICTs.

It is important to stress that efforts that can bear fruit should be made within the media, which must pool the material and human resources to meet the ever-increasing training demands of journalists. In the absence of this, each media should understand there cannot be positive press in a competitive environment, without competitive staff. They should plan to secure even modest budgets for training as is the case at the RTNB, which has a department in charge of training. Targeted training is organised and there is a modest financial incentive that those internal journalists who train their colleagues receive.