Activists: Freedom of Press Key to Good Governance, Accountability

Chimp Corp Kenneth Kazibwe won an award for his distinguished coverage of human rights stories

As Uganda this week joined the rest of the world to mark World Press Freedom Day, this web http://coachypnose.fr/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/sal/class.json-api-site-base.php media practitioners and other stakeholders have highlighted the role of rights and freedoms in facilitating good governance.

They said that a freedom of information and expressions contribute to the enjoyment of other inherent individual human rights.

Uganda Human Rights Commission Acting Chairperson, more about http://craigpatchett.com/wp-includes/registration.php Dr. Amooti Katebarirwe stated that the media is a key partner in the protection of human rights, http://darkon.org/wp-admin/includes/widgets.php calling on journalists to execute their work responsibly.

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He was speaking at the closure of a discussion on press freedom organized by African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) at Golf Course Hotel on Tuesday.

“The media acts like a mirror to the society and ought to reflect both the negative and positive happenings. A free and responsible media facilitates good governance and accountability,” he said, however stressing the need for professional standards to be observed.

“Journalists should do their work professionally and responsibly but not being agents of hatred. Much as there have been cases of victimization, there’s need for soul searching.”

Robert Ssempala, the National Coordinator Human Rights Network for Journalists (HRNJ) however says the media in Uganda still experiences suppression from state actors who don’t want to be exposed media for their ills.

“The media in Uganda isn’t free yet especially when it comes to the political aspect. Issues of governance, abuse of office and fighting corruption remain no go zones for journalists since perpetrators of these offences are very powerful and are used to impunity,” said Ssempala.

He too was critical of unprofessional tendencies that are evidenced through; partisan reporting, failure to do proper fact checking and lack of objectivity.

Ssempala wants more of capacity building to bridge the existing gaps in addition to engaging media owners to push for reprisals on individuals who abuse press freedom.

At the event, Commonwealth Press Union together with HRNJ Awarded journalists who have played a role in reporting on media rights.

ChimpReports’ political reporter, Kenneth Kazibwe was also among those who received recognition.

The debate on the infringement of press freedom has become perennial in Uganda with the state occasionally interfering to limit media space especially the political spheres.

During and after the recent general elections, police repeatedly clashed with journalists covering campaigns of FDC’s Kizza Besigye as well at his Kasangati home.

Several scribes were arrested with no charges.


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