The journalists indicated that the MP abuses them many times and keeps directing them what to air out in their news when they go to cover her events. The MP also abuses journalists when they approach her for media interviews on accountability.
|ToroDev Staff (standing) addressing journalists
According to the journalists who were in a meeting convened on 6th, April 2013 at Kyebambe Model Primary School, the suspension of the MP in their live radio discussions and news coverage will also act as a lesson to local leaders who are uncooperative in giving accountability and disrespectful to journalists.
During the meeting the journalists also identified their priority accountability issues for media attention during the month of April, 2013. Among the priority accountability issues identified were the poor service delivery at Buhinga Referral Hospital and poor sanitation at Kabundaire Farmers Market in Fort Portal.
The journalists also resolved to lobby their proprietors improve their remuneration, training support and provision of equipment for improved professional broadcasting. They also resolved to participate in the celebrations to mark the World Press Freedom Day which is always celebrated on 3rd May so as to highlight the plight of journalists in Tooro Region and share experiences with all stakeholders to ensure professional broadcasting.
ToroDev Staff, Solomon Akugizibwe appealed to Tooro Journalists to embrace the use of appropriate ICT tools like call-ins, SMS and social media in their broadcasting to ensure effective participation of local citizens in their radio discussions. Akugizibwe also appealed to the journalists to work in groups through institutions like TOMPA and Rwenzori Journalists Forum (RJF) to have a bigger impact on broadcasting for community development.
Since 2011, ToroDev has been building the capacity of journalists from the 12 FM radio stations in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda to improve broadcasting for accountability through training in online advocacy, community development broadcasting and grassroots participation in the radio discussions.