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Gov't entities leading violators of press freedom - UHRC

By Daphrose Byiringiro

Added 4th May 2020 10:42 AM

According to the statement, these, government entities use fear as one of the weapons to violate press freedom.

Gov't entities leading violators of press freedom - UHRC

A Journalist from BBS television continues capturing news amidst teargas from police.

According to the statement, these, government entities use fear as one of the weapons to violate press freedom.

PRESS FREEDOM  RIGHTS
 
KAMPALA - According to Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) government entities like the Uganda Police (UP), Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) and Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) are the leading violators of press freedom in Uganda.
 
This was revealed on Sunday in a press statement issued by Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA). Yesterday Sunday May 3, 2020, Uganda joined the rest of the world to celebrate the World Press Freedom Day under the theme, "Journalism without Fear or Favour".
 
According to the statement, these, government entities use fear as one of the weapons to violate press freedom.
 
In order to overcome this, the association called upon various stakeholders including media practitioners, other professionals, parliamentarians, religious leaders, development partners, cultural leaders, academicians and civil society to speak against these violations. 
 
"Promote and defend press freedom because once it is violated, all the fundamental rights for citizens get endangered," the statement read.
 
Poor remuneration for journalists
 
In the statement, the UPPA worries that journalists' efforts are not well rewarded since they still paid poorly. 
 
"Whereas a few leading media houses have the capacity to pay their journalists much better than they currently do, majority of them don't have the financial capacity to pay journalists well. "the statement read.
 
"As we speak, all media houses are no longer able to pay salaries to journalists. Some have been forced to cut the already meager salaries while others have completely stopped paying salaries. "it stated.
 
 
This has therefore forced the association and many stakeholders including contemporary media scholars to push for indirect public financing or government subsidies including tax exemptions as the necessary remedy for sustainable journalism.
 
UPPA explained that tax exemptions won't stop the media from being critical of government. "All political parties including opposition parties are allocated tax payers' money in the national budget but that doesn't stop opposition parties from being critical of government hence this act won't journalists."
 
"Since Journalism is a public good that is not for profit making and should be accessed by the public freely or at a highly subsidized rate, it is everyone's role to ensure a free and vibrant press that operates without fear or favour," the statement concluded.

 

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