The Rwanda Journalists Association [ARJ] is the professional body that brings together journalists and media practioners in Rwanda. Since establisment in 1995, ARJ is a grouping of both private and public journalists with the mandate of mobilizing and representing their interests. The association is registered as a Non-Governmental Organisation.
The association represents more than 700 practicing journalists and media practitioners. It is the main interlocutor between the state policy makers and civil society on behalf of journalists.
ARJ has specialised associations affiliated to it including the Rwanda Female Journalists Association (ARFEM), the Rwanda Editors’ Forum (REFO), the Sports Journalists Association (AJSPOR), the Press House/Maison de la Presse, the Forum for Private Newspapers, etc.
The ARJ was founded in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in which many journalists were victims and others perpetrators. Therefore the mission was to build journalism as a profession that participates in developing a better society.
The Rwanda Journalists Association main objectives are:
1. To unite and promote solidarity among Rwanda journalists and media professionals
2. To defend the rights and interests of Journalists
3. To contribute to peace, social justice and democracy in Rwanda
4. To help Rwanda journalists share experience with and learn from their counterparts in other countries
5. To advocate for the better working environment for journalists and media professionals
6. To help professionalize journalism through dissemination of objective and constructive information
7. Mobilize journalists to support the self regulation mechanism
In order to ensure that the above core objectives are met and achievements maintained, an elected board, a fully functioning secretariat, office facilities and press club accessible to all journalists are in place. Presently in the process of setting up a centre for investigative journalism. ARJ with partners organises the annual Development Journalism Awards and marks media related events.
Partners Include the Government of Rwanda, United Nations agencies like UNDP and UNESCO, Schools of journalism in Rwanda, local non-governmental organisations and media institutions.
ARJ is headquartered in Kigali city, in Gasabo district on KG17 AV37 opposite Amahoro National stadium at Press House.