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Iganga journalists tipped on professionalism, continued studies for ethical reporting

A group photo of journalists with Iganga Woman MP, Hon. Sauda Kauma Alibaawo after the capacity building engagement on Monday, April 29, 2024 (Photos/Handout)

Iganga, (UG): A section of journalists in Busoga sub-region have been encouraged to strongly emphasize professionalism by upgrading their qualifications in journalistic studies to minimize cases of unethical reporting based on their ethical code of conduct.

The rallying call was on Monday made by the Vice-chairperson of Iganga district local government Mr Mukacha Halid Harik in his remarks during the half-day capacity-building workshop for journalists from Iganga, Bugweri and Jinja districts at Hotel Continental in Iganga Town.

“Always don’t look for respect but let respect look for you through doing your work in a professional way. There is something you cannot do as a journalist because journalism ethics dictates, and your work means forsaking other unethical behaviours and concentrating on your profession and this calls for more knowledge in your field. I therefore call upon you to upgrade and attain higher qualifications to do your work effectively,” Mr. Mukacha.

Speaking at the same workshop, Hon Kauma Sauda Alibaawo urged journalists to always conduct and produce quality work in their field of journalism. The Woman MP was however concerned with the working conditions of local journalists and the politicians who use journalists in executing their motives, leading to loss of professionalism.

“The meeting was generally to equip journalists in capacity building in their profession line. We have learnt that some journalists are not paid by their bosses but we have discussed all this and I pledge to raise some of their issues to relevant offices for consideration, and this may improve the conduct of journalists,” Hon Alibaawo said before assuring journalists to continue lobbying useful workshops to equip the media fraternity with more professional knowledge.

Iganga RDC Mr. Wandera Sadala and Hon. Sauda Kauma Alibaawo during the media engagement on Monday

Mr. Yusuf Muziransa from the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) urged the journalists to stay focused and report objectively especially on matters of public interest that shape the community through promoting development.

He took journalists through the annual report on the state of Equal Opportunities in Uganda for the year 2022/2023,  where he noted the need to report on the state of health which has since deteriorated at some facilities.  

Mr. Daniel Saire, a veteran journalist doubling as the principal communications officer for Iganga district guided journalists to avoid spreading unverified information, especially on social media since it exposes innocent people to fraud. He also urged them to avoid direct political participation but behave professionally as deemed by journalism.

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“It is always advisable in journalism to verify information first before forwarding it for public consumption but you may find a journalist forwarding anything even before verifying it. Recently I have been seeing fake links on social media platforms purportedly from UBOS calling for applications for Census work, but remember the exercise was completed and interviews were conducted,” Mr. Saire said before reminding the participants of the ethics of journalism.

Meanwhile, a number of journalists raised issues and asked responsible authorities to come on board and bail them out of the poor working conditions, which they said has also forced some journalists to abandon professionalism.

Mr. Ndhoga Ibrahim, working with a Jinja-based radio blamed a number of media house proprietors who don’t pay workers and said it has caused some journalists to behave unprofessionally while executing their work.

He however commended Hon. Alibaawo for organizing the capacity building for journalists and urged journalists to fight for themselves as they do for others through their reporting.

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The Resident District Commissioner for Iganga district Mr. Wandera Sadala encouraged the media persons to engage in government programs to enhance their well-being and beseeched them to seek knowledge about some government programs where needed to ensure balanced reporting.

The workshop was organized by the Woman Member of Parliament for Iganga district Hon. Kauma Sauda Alibaawo in conjunction with the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

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