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UMI advocates for press freedom and regulation of the media

Mr. Ofwono Opondo, Executive
Director, Uganda Media Centre delivering a presentation about the state of media in the country as one of the discussants (PHOTO/ Abraham MUTALYEBWA)

KAMPALA – The Uganda Management Institute (UMI) together with its stake holders organised a public policy dialogue on regulation of the media.

The half-day event held on June 27, was intended to address the challenges faced by the media in the country.

The media dialogue was attended by members from the academia, senior and retired media practitioners, regulators and government officials to share their knowledge, experience and remedies for the betterment of the media fraternity.

Mr Ofwono Opondo, the Executive Director, Uganda Media Centre who was one of the discussants said that every government is interested in protecting it’s people and their freedom.

“I don’t think any government doesn’t want to protect its people and their freedom. The practice and the laws of this government promote media freedom.We should get into matters of policy so that we work on the character of the state in all the agencies.” Said Mr Ofwono.

He said that the media industry needs to be guided.

“Let us have strong media associations that don’t only front business but dissemination of information since media is a public good.” Said Ofwono.

Mr James Nkata, Director General, Uganda Management Institute noted that the media is key in the dissemination of information because it is powerful.

“We are glad to be apart of this dialogue. Let us put emphasis on press freedom and aso be aware that human beings rely on information. People are denied information and fill up the gap with false messages.”Said Mr Nkata.

He also highlighted that UMI is committed to supporting the media.

He also added that after this, UMI will share the policy briefs to the relevant bodies for future actions.

“Am happy that some media houses have set up a affairs editors such as Nation Media to gather and listen to the views of the masses.” Mr Nkata noted.

There are also challenges in the media for example freedom of expression, the media act , limited research output unprofessionalism, misuse of digital media among others.” Said Dr. Adolf Mbaine a lecturer in the department of journalism and communication at Makerere University.

(L – R) Mr Abudu – Sallaam Waiswa, Head legal Uganda Communications deliberating about the role of the agency as Ms. Rose Kemigisha, senior human rights officer, Uganda Human rights commission, Dr. Adolf Mbaine, lecturer department of journalism and communication ,MUK and Charles Mpagi Mwanguhya look on.( PHOTO / Abraham MUTALYEBWA

“There is a belief that every one on social media is a journalist” Mr Mbaine noted.

He appealed to the stakeholders to protect the professionals by regulating the industry.

“Journalism has minimal broadcasting standards, such as disseminating factual information, ethics, balanced perspectives, being objective, context , regulation among others.” said Mr. Abudu – Sallaam Waiswa, Head Legal Affairs, UCC.

The dialogue is one of the initiatives organised by the institution on a quarterly basis to help shape the media industry to stimulate and help government frameworks.

It had professionals ranging from mainstream media with a total of 305 radio stations, 41 television stations, and several digital platforms like news websites among others.

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