By Carol Kasujja
The government has issued new guidelines for Tv and Radio stations managers countrywide to allocate free airtime to enable technical government officers to communicate programs, plans and policies.
The announcement was made by the information and National guidance minister, Rose Namayanja during the broadcaster’s forum at Imperial Royale Hotel, in Kampala.
“With 246 operational radio stations and 41 television networks, broadcasting in local languages, the programs will run during the morning or evening prime time broadcast hours, the programs will be aired in the morning between 6:00am and 10:00am as wells as between 5:00pm and 10:00pm , when listenership is high,” she said.
The minister also noted that the proposed live programs, should run for one hour for radio, should be in format of talk-shows, the first 40 minutes should be for the interview of any government officials and the last 20 minutes for feedback through phone calls and text messages from listeners. For TV It is supposed to be 30minutes.
She asked the media houses to have live coverage for known public events, like the Independence day, Women’s day, Budget speech and the State of the Nation address.
“There will be need to emphasize pre-event and post –event sensitization as well as the event itself,” she noted.
During the meeting, Simon Mayende, the director of information and national guidance, read out the guidelines and warned station managers that failure to do so, will be a disservice to society.
“The programs will air once in a week on clearly designated dated and times which media stations shall follow. To prepare audiences for the up-coming topics and guest panelists, the stations will be required to offer prior promotions for the programs through jingles and presenter mentions of the upcoming program,” he said.
Mayende said the office of the prime minister will liaise with political leaders, permanent secretaries and chief administrative officers to co-ordinate and develop schedules of issues and topics for Government media programs.
“All concerned Government officials must endeavor to participate in the programs as scheduled or else be accused of negligence of duty. The moderator will ensure that the programs are run professionally and do meet the minimum broadcasting standards,” he said.