6 December 2017

Uganda: Media Council to Train Journalists

A state agency has developed a guide, which it says will help journalists do their job better.

This is a result of collaboration between Uganda Media Council (UMC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the theme; Quality media and public voice for better lives.

The tool looks at training in evidence-based reporting, conflict-sensitive and development journalism, with a focus on rule of law, constitutional democracy and human rights.

It targets reporters with editors and senior media managers as secondary users. Disc jockeys and radio presenters will also benefit.

At the launch last week, Vincent Bagiire, permanent secretary ministry of ICT, said the guide is only a reminder, and in line with life-long learning.

"Journalism is unique to the extent that there are people who are practicing when they did not get any training," Bagiire said at Sheraton Kampala hotel on November 30.

"I have been quoted wrongly a number of times and I have not complained. I am sure that this facilitator's guide, if properly utilised, will resolve that matter where people know how to quote and cite without necessarily putting words in other people's mouths," he said.

He added that the guide will address misinformation arising out of failure to gather evidence. Peter Okello Jabweri, a member of the UMC, said that during their field visits in the build-up to the manual last year, they found that more than 70 per cent of journalists have never had any journalism training.

"This implies that there is a deep problem in the media industry. We are going to use this guide to train senior journalists to go and train colleagues. This will improve professionalism, conflict with the state will go down and journalists will no longer be brutalised," Okello said.

UMC and UNDP interacted with at least 700 journalists countrywide. Army spokesman Brig Richard Karemire told The Observer that the guide should maintain professionalism.

"I really feel bad when someone writes wrong information about an institution like UPDF when we are readily available to give our side of the story. At the end, you are misleading the country because you don't endeavour to crosscheck your information," Karemire said.


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