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Mutabazi reassures on digital migration

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th May 2015 12:24 AM

Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has assured consumers of broadcast media that no one will lose signals, as the digital migration deadline looms over the horizon.

Mutabazi reassures on digital migration

Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has assured consumers of broadcast media that no one will lose signals, as the digital migration deadline looms over the horizon.

By Billy Rwothungeyo               

Godfrey Mutabazi, the Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has assured consumers of broadcast media that no one will lose signals, as the digital migration deadline looms over the horizon.

“Most of you have been hearing about digital migration. Uganda should have been ahead in the whole of Africa because we were the first to come up with a digital migration policy. We even consulted for Tanzania, but because of some dynamics, we are a bit behind,” he said.

Mutabazi was speaking at the Annual Media Convention organised by Makerere University’s Department of Journalism and Communication held at the university’s main hall on Thursday.


  Godfrey Mutabazi, UCC executive director (L) and John Nasasira, ICT minister interacting during the 2nd communication consumer parliament (CCP2) at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala on March 31,  2015. Photo/Lattif Riche

“Everything is under control. Not a single person shall lose a signal as a result of digital migration.”

The Executive Director assured Ugandans that Uganda will beat the he digital migration deadline, which is June 2016.

The convention was held under the theme: “Media ICTs and Development: The Era of Productivity and Transformation of Journalism and Communication.”

“Everybody is now becoming a journalist. I see a lot of bloggers, social media. One time I met a lecturer who told me, ‘everybody is a journalist, everybody is a content producer, and how are you going to regulate this? My answer was that regulation is not policy, regulation is simply putting things in orde.”

Mutabazi said now is that the time to critically think about local content in the media industry.

“Would it have been local content if the late Michael Jackson (had) released a song in Swahili? What is local content? Now we are depending on foreign generated local content, what is the impact of all this?” he said.



 Executive Director of Uganda Communication Commission Godfrey Mutabazi chatting with lecture and graduate program coordinator for Ph.D. at Makerere University, Annette Kezaabu Kasiimbazi during the Annual Media Convention 2015 at Makerere University. Photo/Mary Kansiime 

“I see a lot of content strictly tailored for international standards. When I say international standards, I am talking about the UK and America, not necessarily Russia.”

Mutabazi also said the freedom of expression, a widely held right of every individual to hold opinions without interference, should be in line with the cultural norms in Uganda. 

“If Facebook is carrying defamatory information, it can be controlled from the other side (U.S), but if we did that in Uganda, people would say we are stifling freedom of expression. Our thinking has been distorted,” he said.

“When you are out there with your mum and grandparents, there are certain things you cannot say, not so? Out of our cultural nature, but why don’t you say that they are stifling your freedom of speech?”

David Bahati, the state minister for Planning opened the convention. He said that unlike repressive governments elsewhere, the government is committed to protecting media freedoms in Uganda.

“We commit ourselves that we shall never go that route. We want you to enjoy your freedom, to do what you are best at.”
Bahati said the media will play an integral role if Uganda is to achieve Vision 2040, which aims to transform Uganda into a middle class economy.

“Sometimes, you find a government department budgeting for what is not planned, and then they do not stop there. They implement what is not budgeted for. And they spend on what they have not implemented…as the media, you have to ask the right questions,” he said.

Dr. Annette Kezaabu, a lecturer at the department the Convention Convener explained why the theme of the day was chosen.

“This theme was selected this year because it has highlights ICTs, the new media and their increasing role in society’s ability to produce, to access, to adapt and to apply information.”
 

Mutabazi assures on digital migration

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