The Minister of ICT and NG , Ms. Judith Nabakooba has launched the Uganda Media Sector Working Group while underscoring the important role of the media in national development .
The new Media sector Working Group is a stop gap measure initiated by media practitioners in Uganda after they have found it difficult to embrace government’s National Institute of Journalists (NIJU) that was meant to regulate the work of journalists in the country .
The purpose of NIJU was to offer a platform for media regulation and governance. However, several private media practitioners and stakeholders did not embrace it because they thought it was an initiative of government.
The Minister said that it was a positive move that the private media practitioners and scholars sat down with the Uganda Media Council and agreed on the idea of the Media Sector Working Group.
“By all intents and purposes, this is a good step forward.
Certainly, the role of the media in the development of the country cannot be over emphasized.However, we also agree that in order for the media to play this role properly, it must be professional, accountable and well regulated, “ Nabakooba stated.
She called upon the media actors mainly the journalists, editors and owners to strive to uphold the highest standards of professionalism while executing their duties .
Nabakooba attributed the friction between the media and government and other private sector stakeholders is due to the unprofessionalism exhibited by journalists and their media houses.
But with the new working group , she said ,leadership and practical solutions should be provided to ensure a good relationship between the media and the wider public.
With the Internet Based forms of communication, powered by mobile phones, Nabakooba said that the biggest challenge for governments all over the world today is how to regulate these platforms without endangering individual freedoms.
“We are therefore looking at the Uganda Media Sector Working Group to start these conversations and provide solutions on how to deal with these technologies.
My Ministry is ready to work with this group in fulfilling your core objective of a well-regulated and professional media industry,” the Minister said.
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