KAMPALA – Information and National Guidance Minster Mr Frank Tumwebaze has Wednesday July 4, appealed the media to avoid taking political lines when giving content to the public.
Speaking at the Annual Broadcasting Conference 2018 at Imperial Royal Hotel, Kampala, Tumwebaze, said media owners should understand the people they put behind the microphone to avoid misguiding the public.
“Radios have become a source of conflict especially for politicians. I appeal to you broadcasters not to be party to our politics, concentrate on communicating factually,” he said calling upon media owners to equip their journalist with the basic necessary knowledge about different sectors.
“I appeal to you to train young people, let us train journalists because not everybody with a camera and a pen is a journalist.”
He further revealed that Uganda leads the continent in having the most liberalized broadcasting industry with about 292 licensed FM radios and over 35 Television stations. “All these enable free speech and citizen awareness,” he added.
Eng Godfrey Mutabazi, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Executive Director said that the new regulations target those who have turned airwaves into battle grounds for attacking others and spreading hate speech.
“It has come to our attention, that some pastors have turned Radio and TV stations into battle grounds to send insults and defame fellow or rival pastors,” Mutabazi said.
“It is unfortunate, that some of these people have used religion to defraud or mislead unsuspecting members of the public,” he added warning that with the new law adjustments, ‘the commission will not hesitate to revoke their licenses.’
UCC, a few months back revoked licenses of over 20 radio stations around the country over airing witchcraft related content and “misleading the public”
Kin Kariisa, the chairman National Broadcasters’ Association (NAB), the umbrella body for all broadcasters said, the regulations will provide a more robust framework for efficient processes for carrying out enforcement in the industry.
“On behalf of the National Broadcasters’ Association, we commit to adhere to the new broadcasting standards for the betterment of the industry and a better Uganda at large,” Kariisa said reminding broadcasters’ of their mandate
Kariisa said that the sector lacks independency saying that they need an independent to tribunal to mediate broadcasters’ demands adding that such demands and judgement should be pronounced in a short time.
He further asked the commission to ensure that the industry adopts best practices while regulating broadcaster.