A new report indicates that 82% of the citizens believe that the media makes a positive contribution to the development of the country.
The report was released by local governance body, Twaweza to mark World Press Freedom Day based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high frequency mobile phone survey.
The findings are based on data collected from 1,796 respondents across Uganda from September to October 2019.
“58% of the citizens agree that journalists are professional 56% say that the media delivers accurate and reliable content and 51% that journalists tell the truth to powerful people,” the report indicates.
However,according to the report 49% of the citizens are positive about journalists being impartial/non-partisan, 43% are acting with integrity or avoiding corruption and 53% of Ugandans said they would be proud if their children became journalists.
The report shows that radio is both the most popular (the main source of information by citizens (74%) and the most trusted type of media (60% completely trust what they hear on radio).
“Other sources of information cited by far fewer people when compared to radio are: television (13%), word of mouth (5%) and meetings, social media or the internet all used by 1 out of 50 (2%) as their main source of information,” the report notes.
According to the report, citizens do trust what they hear at meetings (58%) and what they see on television (45%).
The report also indicates that 56% of the people say the Ugandan media is reliable and accurate, compared to a small number, (12%), who disagree, and more citizens agree ( 51%) that Ugandan journalists tell the truth even when this upsets powerful people.
“Significant minorities disagree with the view that the media in Uganda is politically balanced and the view that journalists act with integrity, though even in these cases, more citizens hold positive than negative views,” reads the report.
The report also indicates that most Ugandans are confident about their own right to criticize their leaders.
Marie Nanyanzi, the programme officer of Sauti za Wananchi, said that overall Ugandans see the media making a positive contribution to their lives.
“They are divided on how much the government should be able to restrict the media. Nonetheless, significant portions of the population believe that media should have the freedom to report openly and honestly especially when it comes to providing feedback to government,”she noted.