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Uganda senior editors move to form guild

New role. Daniel Kalinaki, the interim committee chairperson. He is also the General Manager, Editorial at Nation Media Group Uganda. (COURTESY PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Senior editors from the country’s major media houses and other industry players have endorsed a proposal to form an association of editors and content managers in Uganda as part of the efforts to strengthen professionalism and promote self-regulation.

The Uganda Editors’ Guild, an association of the industry’s senior content managers is hoped to increase journalists’ fellowship at senior level, increase public trust in the profession and defend journalists across board.

The senior editors met in Lugogo, Kampala on Friday, February 8. They elected an interim executive committee to steer the association through its formative stages.

Interim committee

The committee includes interim chair Daniel Kalinaki, the General Manager, Editorial at Nation Media Group Uganda, David Mukholi, the Managing Editor (Editorial) of Vision Group, Joyce Bagala, the Head of News at NBS TV, and Alex B. Atuhaire, the Editorial Director at PML Daily (www.pmldaily.com). Others are Sylvia Nankya, an editor at the Uganda Radio Network, and Pius Katunzi Muteekani of The Observer newspaper.

 

Moving to form editors’ guild. The interim committee includes Daniel Kalinaki (Chairperson), Alex B. Atuhaire (Treasurer), Pius Muteekani Katunzi (Member), Joyce Bagala (Member), David Mukholi (Member), and Sylvia Nankya (Secretary). (FILE PHOTOS)

Barbara Kaija, the Editor-In-Chief of the Vision Group, who co-chaired the Friday meeting with the veteran editor and trainer Dr. Peter G. Mwesige, said: “The purpose of the forum is to create a common voice for editors because we share the same vision to be the eyes, ears and voices of the public.”

Chaired meeting. Peter G. Mwesige is the Executive Director of the African Centre for Media Excellence, and Barbara Kaija, the Editor-In-Chief of the Vision Group. (FILE PHOTOS)

“This is an important step in self-organisation and professionalisation in the media industry,” said Dr. Mwesige, the Executive Director of the African Centre for Media Excellence, and national facilitator for the International Training Programme (ITP) on Media Self-regulation in a Democratic Framework. The ITP is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

The interim chairperson of the executive committee, Kalinaki said: “We must check our own conduct and enforce our own ethics in order to make a credible case for self-regulation,” adding: “Our job is to build a framework that defends media freedoms while ensuring responsibility and professional conduct.”

—————————————————————————————————————————————————Full statement

UGANDAN MEDIA LEADERS SUPPORT FORMATION OF EDITORS’ FORUM

For Immediate Release

08 February 2018

KAMPALA

Senior editors from the country’s major media houses and other industry players have endorsed a proposal to form an association of editors and content managers in Uganda as part of efforts to strengthen professionalism and promote self-regulation.

The group, which met in Lugogo, Kampala, also elected an interim executive committee to steer the association through its formative stages.

It includes Mr Daniel Kalinaki, the General Manager, Editorial at Nation Media Group Uganda, Mr David Mukholi, the Managing Editor (Editorial) of Vision Group, Ms. Joyce Bagala, the Head of News at NBS TV, Mr Alex Atuhaire, the Editorial Director of the online PML Daily, Ms Sylvia Nankya, an editor at the Uganda Radio Network, and Mr Pius Katunzi Muteekani of The Observer.

The committee will oversee the drafting, consideration and adoption of a constitution and other foundational documents, as well as the election of a substantive executive by the end of April 2019.

“This is an important step in self-organisation and professionalisation in the media industry,” said Dr Peter Mwesige, executive director of the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), and national facilitator for the International Training Programme (ITP) on Media Self Regulation in a Democratic Framework. The ITP is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

“We must check our own conduct and enforce our own ethics in order to make a credible case for self-regulation,” said Mr. Kalinaki, the interim chairperson of the executive committee. “Our job is to build a framework that defends media freedoms while ensuring responsibility and professional conduct.”

The Uganda team of participants on the ITP came up with the proposal to form a forum or association of editors and content managers. It includes Ms Barbara Kaija, Editor-in-Chief of Vision Group, Hon. Paul Amoru Omiat (Dokolo North), who is also chairperson of the Uganda Parliamentary Form on Media, Mr. Adolf Mbaine, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Journalism & Communication at Makerere University.
Others are Ms. Rose Mary Kemigisha, Senior Human Rights Officer/Editor at the Uganda Human Rights Commission, Mr. Abudu-Sallam Waiswa, Head of Legal at Uganda Communications Commission, and Mr. Peter Okello Jabweli, a lawyer and member of the Media Council of Uganda.

In her introductory remarks, Ms. Kaija said the purpose of the forum was to “create a common voice for editors” who “share the same vision to be the eyes, ears and voices” of the public. She added that it would help restore professionalism and credibility in the media.

Reading from a concept note on the formation of the association, Dr Mwesige said “The association would not only promote and guard journalistic standards”, it would also work towards the safety of all journalists.
According to the Uganda ITP team, the failure of previous attempts at self-regulation has left the doors open to statutory regulation, which makes the industry vulnerable to control by the government and owners.

Regulatory challenges were blamed on weak journalists’ associations; disunity and lack of cohesion in the industry; weak regulatory frameworks open to political and other forms of interference; inadequate transparency from media regulators; low levels of media literacy; and “media owners who (pay more attention) “to the bottom line than to journalism’s public interest mission”.

Failure at self-organisation was in turn blamed for “weakened professional fellowship”, a “regulatory vacuum that has exacerbated unprofessionalism and lack of accountability amongst media practitioners” as well as “loss of public trust and confidence in the media”.
Further information

For more information on this statement please contact:

  • Dr Peter G. Mwesige at +256784471527 (info@acme-ug.org) 
  • Ms Barbara Kaija at +256772613428 (bkaija@newvision.co.ug),
  • or Mr Daniel Kalinaki +256752705271 (dkalinaki@ug.nationmedia.com).

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