experts have expressed concern about the welfare of media practitioners in
On Tuesday, Uganda
joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Press Freedom Day under the
theme "Journalism Under Digital Siege".
have observed that a number of journalists are poorly paid, work without pay,
are not compensated for extra hours, and work without proper protective gear.
Speaking at the sideline of a media dialogue at the ICT Hub in Nakawa, media trainer
Dr. George Lugalambi noted that investors in the media industry should be able
to pay all their workers and make available the required infrastructure for
them to perform their duties.
Dr. Lugalambi adds that media owners should be able to meet the required standards
if they are to be given a license to operate. He argues that a media house
should demonstrate that they have the required infrastructure and resources before
they are allowed to operate.
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descent media product"//
Mbaine, a lecturer at Makerere University Kampala says that focus should also be
put on having a Minimum Wage in the country.
He says that
there is a tendency to discuss media issues in isolation even when they are cross-cutting. For instance, he notes that the issue of low pay should be
discussed in totality because not just media practitioners are receiving meager
in February 2019 passed the Minimum Wage Bill but the president declined to assent
to it saying there were gaps in the Minimum Wages Advisory Board and the Wages
Council Act that the Bill sought to cure. The Bill, first tabled in parliament
in 2015 sought to empower the minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development
to appoint a Minimum Wages Board to fix all minimum wages for various sectors
and for the minister to announce the minimum wages annually.
On Sunday during the Labour Day Celebrations, President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta
increased the Minimum wage by 12 percent to empower workers in the current increase in commodity prices. The current minimum wage is 13,500 Kenyan
shillings (over 400,000 Uganda shillings) per month.
during similar celebrations, President Museveni said Ugandans should adjust
their lifestyle and if bread is unaffordable, they opt for Cassava, a statement
Dr. Mbaine finds unfortunate since not many city dwellers have a garden to
cultivate. The increase in fuel prices has equally increased the cost of food.
says that the Government should fast-track the Minimum Wage Bill for all
workers in the country to promote their livelihood and their standards of
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enjoy their country"//
Director of Uganda Media Women's Association Margaret Ssentamu doubts that
media owners deliberately decline to pay journalists for their work. She
explains that the cost of running a media house is high and what should be
fixed first is the economy.
adds that a journalist should take a personal stand and abandon any
exploitative or non-paying job for another or change careers.