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Friday,November 27,2020 18:30 PM

Media managers tipped on safe polls

By Abou Kisige

Added 29th October 2020 04:33 PM

The committee is composed of Uganda Communications Commission, the Electoral Commission and three media representatives as well as members from security agencies.

Media managers tipped on safe polls

Kariisa and Odongo interacting after a meeting at CMI headquarters in Kampala. (Photo by Abou Kisige)

The committee is composed of Uganda Communications Commission, the Electoral Commission and three media representatives as well as members from security agencies.

Media managers have been asked to uphold security and stability as the country prepares for the 2021 general elections.

"As security agencies, we are appealing to media practitioners to avoid exciting the public as the country counts down to the 2021 general elections. For you to have a conducive working environment, there must be security. Let us all promote balanced reporting," internal affairs minister Gen. Jeje Odongo said on Tuesday, October 27.

Odongo made the remarks during a meeting between security chiefs and officials of National Association of Broadcasters at the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) headquarters in Mbuya, Kampala.

The meeting was convened to create a better working relationship between media managers and security organisations to promote democracy and media freedom. It was also aimed at ensuring a harmonious relationship and better co-ordination for a peaceful and stable election period while observing media freedom and adherence to the law while on duty.

Odongo said the media is key in every electoral process and should always strive for balanced reporting. He said once that is achieved, the media fraternity will have the freedom within the confines of the law.

Representatives from media houses and their hosts formed of a committee to guide security and the media to continue serving the country in a bid to deliver a lawful, peaceful, free and fair 2021 general election, through this COVID-19 period.

The committee, chaired by the Uganda Media Centre executive director, Ofwono Opondo, will handle emerging issues related to elections and continuously guide how media practitioners, as well as security agencies, operate during campaigns.

Opondo said the committee is political and administrative in nature.

However, it does not replace the existing legal mechanisms such as the tribunal, courts of law and the media council.

The committee is composed of Uganda Communications Commission, the Electoral Commission and three media representatives as well as members from security agencies.

The chairperson of the National Association of Broadcasters, Kin Kariisa, said the media needs to work with security in the forthcoming elections since they are hybrid in nature.

"We want to be stakeholders than stick-holders in campaigns. We have had some of our colleagues being clobbered and many are still in wheelchairs. Such incidents should not happen again," Kariisa said.

He said media houses sign individual licences, which have minimum broadcasting standards, which they should follow.

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