On Monday this week, journalists around the world celebrated World Press Freedom Day under the theme, ‘Press Freedom as a Public Good’. In Uganda, Makerere University department of journalism and multimedia organized the 2021 Annual Media Convention; an event that brings together academia and industry players to discuss the latest trends affecting the field of journalism and communication.
The Minister for ICT and National Guidance, Hon. Judith Nabakooba was in attendance as the guest of honor. In her remarks, Nabakooba said the government is planning to have a law to regulate social media. Stating that social media is not so old in the country, which explains why there are no regulations governing it.
Social media is consider to be one of the biggest channels used by media houses to spread or share news —meanwhile a lot of fake news is shared as well which spreads faster than factual news, hence government trying to find a way of fighting such acts [fake news].
“On social media, the content collector is the editor and publisher. This gives room for unprofessionalism and misinformation,” Nabakooba said —decrying the infiltration of media by untrained people.
“To solve Infiltration, we will call all media stakeholders to bring ideas on streamlining and identifying a professional journalist,” she said.
Dr. Busingye Kabumba, a lecturer of law at Makerere University, in his keynote speech said, “To get standard trusted stories, I suggest to have media owners who are professionally trained journalists.”
Kabumba added that although there is social media, the legacy media still has chance of surviving in this era. “This is already happening as we see many available media house; having online presence, which helps the public to have platforms where they can get trusted information,” he said.
Nabakooba says for the government to come up with social media regulations they will do wider consultations with all media stakeholders.
This article is written with inputs from The New Vision