Uganda launches the Editors’ Guild on May, World Press Freedom Day

Uganda launches the Editors’ Guild on May, World Press Freedom Day

Uganda launches the Editors’ Guild on May, World Press Freedom Day

/ SOCIETE / Thursday, 13 May 2021 16:51

By Kabakura Jean Bosco Ceusi

 Uganda Editors’ Guild was inaugurated in Kampala yesterday in the course of events marking the World Press Freedom Day.

Prof  Frederick JjTheuuko from Makerere University’s School of Law, delivered a keynote address, and spoke about militarisation mentioning how this affects media operations in Uganda.

Quoting a number of examples, he said that « militarisation has replaced state institutions and processes—contaminating  them “with militarisation ” — pointing out courts of law where, among other incidents, civilians have been judged by military courts, . 

“Elections have become security operations in this country. You all remember the previous army violation of the population rights ”, he said, adding that this practice leads as well to massive corruption and allocation of prerogatives with great injustice. » 

Prof Jjuuko, however, cautioned the media against glamorising war, saying: “When you do that, without saying anything about the impact of war on the population and what war entails for people : deaths, extreme suffering, crash of the economy etc, this make war attractive to young people and create future militarists.”

The Danish Ambassador to Uganda,  representing  the European Union Delegation, quoting a report of Reporters without Borders said that over the past year, there has been a “dramatic deterioration in people’s access to information and an increase in obstacles to news coverage”.

While health workers were struggling with the pandemic over the past year, he said many journalists around the world faced another challenge almost as damaging: « a global info-emic ».

 « In times of Covid-19 », he noted, « fake news, hate speech, conspiracy theories, have shown that access to reliable information can be a matter of life or death”.

Mr Anthony Kujawa, the spokesperson of the US Embassy in Kampala noted « the alarming increase of social media and Internet restrictions by governments around the world ».....“Shutting down the Internet threatens the ability of journalists to do their job and the people need to have access to journalism to be active and informed citizens,”. Furthermore, he said that « Washington condemns the use of partial or complete government-imposed Internet shutdown to suppress freedom of expression online ».

Mr Daniel Kalinaki, Chairman of Uganda Editors’ Guild, said « the Guild has, since inception, studied key areas in which professionals can contribute with time and personal engagement “....we have also put in our time and personal dedication”.

Mr Kalinaki said : « the Guild will work hard to  protect “our rights,” the independence of media, and stated that «  journalists are not enemy of the state ». The Editors ' Guild was set-up in February 2019.

The Editors’ Guild Uganda

The EGU is composed by the Executive Board which includes the Chairman, Mr Daniel K.Kalinaki, the General Manager, Editorial writer at Nation Media Group Uganda, David Mukholi, the Managing Editorial writer at Vision Group, Ms Joyce Bagala, News Director at NBS TV, and Mr Alex B. Atuhaire, Editorial Director at PML Daily. Others members of the Executive Board are Ms Sylvia Nankya, one of the editors at the Uganda Radio Network, and Mr Pius Katunzi Muteekani of The Observer .

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