Special Reports

Gov’t Warns Against Pornography On World Press Freedom Day

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visit this http://causestudio.co/wp-admin/includes/class-walker-nav-menu-checklist.php geneva;”>The statement comes at a time the world is commemorating the World Press Freedom Day.


“I am taking this opportunity to once again remind our media practitioners about the basic journalistic ethics and the call for patriotic responsibility to our country,” said Karooro.


“This is specifically in view of some regrettable instances of reckless intrusion of privacy, disseminating unresearched, inflammatory, libelous/slanderous and pornographic material,” she noted in a statement seen by Chimpreports on Friday.


“This has regrettably but inevitably brought some media actors into conflict with the law.”


The government has in the recent past accused some tabloids of publishing content deemed pornographic. But publishers say their publications mirror society, adding the best way to fight ill in society is through exposure.


Karooro encouraged “our journalists to read and internalize provisions about the law and ethics in Uganda.”


She further noted her Ministry would continue with “pro-active engagement with the media over such ethical and legal issues to enhance professionalism and minimize instances of our practitioners running into trouble.”


The Minister appealed also appealed to government’s law enforcement agencies and journalists to treat each other with “courtesy to avoid possible conflicts resulting from overzealous individual actions.”


Security agencies especially Police and Prisons officials recently came under the spotlight for harassing, intimidating and physically assaulting journalists.


But Police publicist Judith Nabakooba says relations between the law enforcement body and the “fourth estate” has “normalized.”


WPFD

Today, 3rd May 2013, Uganda joins the rest of the globe to mark the two decades of the World Press Freedom Day (WPFD).


The WPFD was proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) general Assembly in 1993 in recognition of the pivotal role of the media in global development endeavors and building democracy.


Karooro says twenty years later, the “fourth estate” has grown in stature, taking center stage as freedom of expression becomes a key global benchmark for democracy and accountability.


Accordingly, UNESCO, the UN agency for cross-cultural issues has been consistently supporting efforts towards promoting an enabling environment for a free and pluralistic media regionally and globally.


“As a Member State of the UN, Uganda has registered tremendous progress towards building a free, professional and vibrant media, particularly in the last 20 years,” said Karooro, adding, “The liberalization of the sector by the government in the early 1990s was a bold endorsement of the media’s cardinal role in cementing our democracy and accountability in Uganda.”


She further stated: “From few public media entities before 1990, today, we have over 200 radio stations and dozens of publications and television stations relaying information across Uganda.”


Proliferation of media outlets has presented to Ugandans a myriad of platforms for disseminating and sharing information in multiple languages to the remotest corners of the country.


According to Karooro, this ensures that an increasingly enlightened population demands accountability from government and plays an active civic role for sustainable development programs.


“The steady growth of Uganda’s economic, social and political credentials is rightly, partly creditable to the media. In terms of skills, media practitioners in Uganda are also reaping from the several universities and institutes that have flourished following the NRM government’s liberalisation of the education sector,” noted the Minister.


She said this ensures that media professionals continue updating and refreshing their skills to adapt with a highly dynamic and digitized environment.


Karooro observed that the award of medals to some of media professionals on Labor Day last Monday was yet “another illustration of how the Ugandan media has grown in stature over the years.”


“Therefore, while we may are still working towards continuous improvement, but as we reflect over the WPFD, we can still proudly say that as nation, Uganda’s media has indeed come a long way. As government, we shall ensure that we maintain a suitable policy environment to ensure that this media progress is truly irreversible.”


Karooro urged practicing journalists to “desist from petty squabbling and join professional bodies like the National Institute of Journalists of Uganda (NIJU)” which will “enable them share real life field experiences and foster peer-to-peer mentoring and learning as one sure way of taking our media industry to the next level.”


She concluded: “I hope this year’s WPFD offers us a renewed impetus to candidly evaluate the gains we have registered as we aspire for the greater heights.”

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