14 January 2016

Ugandan Parliament Bans Journalists Without Degrees

Photo: RNW
Ugandan parliament.

Ugandan journalists who have no university degrees would be banned from covering parliamentary proceedings as from May 2016, a report said on Thursday.

According to the Daily Monitor, government issued the directive in its bid to curb what it termed "lazy journalism", after it discovered that many senior journalists had developed close ties with politicians, thus, leading to bias reporting.

In a letter to media houses, the east African nation's Parliamentary Commission said they would be accrediting journalist who graduated in journalism, mass communication or a related fields to cover the 10th Parliament, the report said.

"... journalists who cover Parliament must meet certain minimum requirements," parts of the letter reportedly stated.

The journalists should also have a minimum of three years experience before being admitted to cover parliamentary proceedings.

According to the report, this would help encourage fairness, accuracy and balanced news.

A report by to the Observer indicated that the the Parliamentary Commission had already called on media houses to submit names of journalists, accompanied by relevant support documents, for accreditation to cover the 10th Parliament.

Reports indicate that the Ugandan government's intimidation of journalists and activists in the country is having a "chilling effect" on free speech ahead of elections next month.

Source: News 24

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