By Jerome Kule Bitswande
KAMPALA - Journalists in Uganda have been cautioned against publication and broadcast of fake news.
The caution was made by Sally Zweimueller, a senior communication specialist of the Demography and Health Survey (DHS) Programme.
The DHS is a USAID- funded programme in which technical assistance is provided for the implementation of household and facility-based surveys in 90 countries across Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.
Speaking on Monday, during a training workshop to journalists on how best to report about the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey findings at City Royale Hotel in Bugolobi, Kampala, Sally appealed to scribes to endeavour to be accurate whenever compiling their reports.
“I come from a country (the US) which is struggling with fake news. I urge you journalists here not to be victims of this syndrome.” she said.
Sally appealed to journalists to always verify and do the necessary double-checks on their stories before they publish and broadcast them.
She said many journalists quote wrong statistics within their stories, calling on them to always look at the reputation of the research firm that has released the statistics, before they use with in their stories.
Helen Namirembe Nviiri, the director of population and social statistics at Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), also called on journalists to be more critical when reporting about figures with in their stories.
Nviiri urged the scribes to always find out from UBOS if any data from particular organisation is worth quoting.
“You can always find out from UBOS if the statistics you are about to quote are from a reputable organisation.” she said.
The 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey findings were released last week by the country’s statistics body, UBOS.
The findings among other things showed that the fertility of rural women remains high with an average of six children per woman compared to four children among women in urban areas.