“UMSWG was formally initiated in May 2020 as a multi-stakeholder platform to create dialogue within the media industry and to address protracted issues that bedevil it,” says the Africa Center for Media Excellence.
The study conducted between January 1 and June 30, 2020, indicates that the conventional reporting format of news writing remained dominant with 1,965 stories, representing 75 per cent of all news stories and articles published during the time. Often, government officials were not questioned on their statements.
“We also suggest that every Government program should have a 2-5% budget component for sensitization and awareness and this should be dedicated towards buying media across all platforms including newspapers, TV, Radio and online for communicating the new normal,” Karisa said.
The Ministry of Agriculture has since passed out information warning the entire populace to stock enough food. However, the warning might have come in late as many people are likely to have already sold off a number of crops harvested in the recent farming season. Uganda last experienced a major locust invasion in 1961, with immense damage on crops which resulted in acute hunger.
According to Kakooza, now is the time to engage all stakeholders gainfully on the type of media that Uganda wants. He argues that most media houses in Uganda are giving more space to entertainment, music, comedy and sports and that media owners and managers want to play safe for fear of the repercussions.
The commission directed that broadcasters immediately stop and refrain from broadcasting live feed which is in breach of the minimum broadcasting standards and the best practice guidelines for electronic media coverage, reporting and broadcasting of live events.
A month ago, Police Spokesperson, Asan Kasingye tried to enforce the directive, saying only authorised officers should speak to journalists. He said non authorized officers would have to get clearance and consult with the department of Public Relations
Kyadondo East MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda says he has decided to stop appearing on Central Broadcasting Services (CBS) programs because the station no longer has freedom to hold free and fair discussions on some issues.