Broadcasters ask police to protect field journalists during campaigns

2021 Elections Watch

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has cried out to security organs, regulators, and the general public to help simplify the work of journalists whenever in the field, especially in this difficult and critical election season.

The request was made by Kin Kariisa, the Association’s Chairperson, during an engagement between NAB and other key media stakeholders in a meeting that was held at the Uganda Communications Commission headquarters in Kampala.

Kariisa urged security forces to ensure the safety of journalists as they do their work.

"Comrade Enanga (Fred), ensure that these journalists are safe while carrying out their work, please. When you see a journalist, well branded, ensure that they are safe," Kariisa said.

Kariisa however urged media houses to also take a step and brand their journalists before sending them out in the field.

In response, Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said that journalists should also take charge of their lives while covering intense situations by positioning themselves well.

"When you're covering a protest for example, and you're within the protestors when an order to disperse is announced, your safety can not be guaranteed," Enanga said.

The dialogue was called by the UCC to discuss with radios and TVs on how to operate during this election period that will heavily depend on media houses due to the Electoral Commission guidelines on reducing the spread of COVID-19.

UCC spokesperson İbrahim Bbosa also asked Opposition members who complain of being denied access to media to report to the UCC with evidence for further engagement.

"We need to work on things that are evidence-based, please come to us with receipts," Bbosa said.

The on-going campaigns are expected to go until January 12, 2021, and the media was urged to be fair and balanced in their reports and airtime offered to competing candidates.

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