“One discipline any professional journalist should have is the capacity to verify, and look for knowledge in whatever they do,
Information and Computer Technology (ICT) minister Frank Tumwebaze has asked journalists to avoid being used by different people as tools in political and business scuffles.
Tumwebaze said, people especially politicians and business men tend to recruit teams including journalists to tannish their opponents' names.
The minister made the remarks while launching the Independent Online Journalists Association (Indoja-u) at Hotel Africana in Kampala on November 29, 2018.
Tumwebaze cited an example of journalists who usually write false news that he(Tumwebaze) is sacked from the ministry whenever he takes leave in January, a thing he described as unprofessional.
"One discipline any professional journalist should have is the capacity to verify, and look for knowledge in whatever they do," he said.
He further said, as the ICT ministry, they are going to train journalists on embracing different milestones the country attains, adding that many of them are not valued by the media in the country.
He urged journalists especially, those online to publish positive vibes about the country, adding that if Uganda scores, every one scores.
"Citizens should never have a quarrel with their country, but can have a quarrel with their government," he said.
He further suggested that journalists should partner with Uganda Tourism Board and other bodies responsible to promote the beautiful cities in the country instead of publishing unconstructive matters.
Tumwebaze asked journalists to put government and opposition leaders on spot for stories that can lead to the development of the country.
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) executive director Godfrey Mutabazi said, online publication has been around since 1971.
"Online publishing should build our country in terms of innovations and marketing. Things that build our country should be published online," he said.
Mutabazi noted that the world used to be governed by Churches and Mosques, and then turned to Kingdoms, and now to politicians. He added that with the digital take over, the world may later be governed by inventors.
Indoja-u president Andrew Irumba explained that the association was formed in July 2018 to bring together all online journalists.
He said digital media has for long been regarded as that with fake news and unregulated. He added that the association is to help in improving professionalism among the online journalists.
"As online journalists, we have decided to serve, not to antagonize as we promote development," he said.
He added that unfortunately, online media is currently less considered in the transformation of the country. Irumba called on the government to embrace online media as they advertise with it for its sustainability.