Following continued calls by the online media fraternity to have government include online publishers among the media categories in the country, the minister of ICT and national guidance Frank Tumwebaze noted that different online groups are fronting the issue.
He urged for unity among all online journalists to push for the consideration of online platforms as discussion are held among concerned government stakeholders.
“We have to work with PPDA, attorney general to recognise the other form of media which is digital media.”
“I gave the same advice to the other group, so you guys have to unite and become one voice because if you don’t unite, you contradict yourselves on how best to pitch your interests.”
This was during the launch of the Independent Online Journalists Association of Uganda (INDOJA). Here the greater call was for upholding of existing publication rules and guidelines.
Speaking at the same event, Uganda Communications Commission Executive Director Godfrey Mutabazi asked online publishers to do their work without interfering in the rights and freedoms of others.
“While we fight for freedoms, we don’t want to disrupt other existing individual freedoms so while you exercise your freedoms it should be in due regard of the rights of others, there must be a balance between rights and obligations and the most ideal form of media regulation is media regulation where practitioners become responsible broadcasters without the force of law,” Mutabazi said.
Joseph Kigozi the chief strategy officer at next media while representing the chairman Nation broadcasters association Kin Kariisa, welcomed the initiative but expressed concern with how some operate.
KIgozi noted that most of online publications have not been registered, some of them have been working from home, some work in cafes, some argue it is a source of income.
“The challenge though is authenticity of the information sometimes, and the feeling that some of them are not professional so our call is to ensure that the association is run professionally a s a member of NAB.”
Andrew Irumba the president of the new association says there is to bring together all online players to strengthen their voice in pushing for their rights and ensuring self regulation to curb challenges such as fake news.