Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Celebrating of the World Press Freedom Day

On 3rd May 2014, panelists appeared on HITS FM to discuss the world press freedom day and how the media has contributed in developing the country. “In 1993, third of April was declared a world press freedom day by the United Nations in Windhoek, Namibia to help foster freedom of the press in Africa. World Press Freedom Day emphasizes universal rights as set forth in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which was written and adopted in 1948. This section of the Declaration states that everyone has the right to seek and relay information, regardless of their location or circumstances”, said Bamanyisa Patrick, leader of Rwenzori Journalist Forum. The panelist was discussing on ToroDev’s supported 'Orukurato Program', a 2hr weekly live radio discussion that discusses issues of accountability every Saturday (8:00-10:00pm).

Members of Rwenzori Journalist Forum
Other panelists who participated in the live radio discussion included Mr. Mugisa Herbert a local leader, Mr. Tusiime Francis the coordinator of Rwenzori Journalist Forum and Mr. Ainganiza Wadel a news editor at Voice of Tooro, all from Fort Portal Municipality, Kabarole District.

During the radio discussion, Mr. Ainganiza indicated the qualifications of a proper journalist. “A journalist must be educated with all the skills and qualities of journalism, with either a diploma or degree in mass communication. The work of journalists is to collect news/information and news editors are supposed to filter this information and broadcast the positive/good information and leave out the biased information. Therefore, as journalists, we have to always be objective and make proper research so that the information we give benefits society rather than destroying it”.

Mr. Francis also participated in the live radio discussion by indicating the achievements that have been realized by the media. “Journalists have helped in raising people’s voices, advocating for better governance and informing/sensitizing the society. However, journalists still face challenges of getting false information, harassments from leaders and individuals, interference from security agencies towards their work, among others".

Meanwhile, Mr. Mugisa Herbert participated in the live radio discussion by appreciating the work done by journalists. “Society wants news so as to be informed. As leaders, we have not gone back to sensitize the community, even when we call for public meetings, few people attend because many are not interested due to the bias that they have on leaders. The media has helped us to fill this gap through providing information on radios, newspapers/letters, among others”.

The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Kasigazi Willy Donanto.

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