UMI, Media versus Government for press freedom and regulations.

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By Tonny Akankwatsa

The Uganda Management Institute (UMI) alongside stakeholders organized a public policy dialogue on the regulation of the media. Event held on June 27, addressed the challenges faced by the media in the country. The dialogue was attended by members from the academia, senior and retired media practitioners, regulators and government officials to share their knowledge, experience and solutions regards developing media fraternity.

Ofwono Opondo, E.D, Uganda Media Centre 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 the policy so that we work on the character of the state in all the agencies.” Said Ofwono.


He said that the media industry needs to be guided. “Let us have strong media associations that don’t only front business but the dissemination of information since media is a public good.” Said Ofwono.

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 Nkata.

He also highlighted that UMI is committed to supporting the media. 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 un-professionalism, misuse of digital media among others.” Adolf Mbaine, journalism and communication lecturer at Makerere University expressed himself.
“There is a belief that every one on social media is a journalist,” Mbaine noted.
He appealed to the stakeholders to protect the professionals by regulating the industry.

Regards the meeting, “Journalism has minimal broadcasting standards, such as disseminating factual information, ethics, balanced perspectives, being objective, context , regulation among others.” said 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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