Addressing the media in Kampala, Robert Sempala, the executive director for Human Rights Network for Journalists in Uganda said this is aimed to ensure that the rights of journalists who will cover 2021 elections are protected.
He also noted that the move is to ensure that journalists are not subjected to any forms of violence during the elections period.
“Most editors don’t feel the punch when journalists are beaten so we are trying to bring them on board on what really happens in the field so that they have a responsibility to play in ensuring safety and security of their journalists,” he said.
He said although many journalists suffer attacks while on the job, they need to maintain a high level of professionalism.
“We are engaging them (Journalists) on having quality gadgets that place them far away from the scene as oppose to the situation where journalists have to stand in the middle of the scene,” he said.
Sempala expressed fears about the infiltration of unprofessional people in the journalism fraternity.
“This stems from the way we recruit our staff. Most of them are not recruited on merit is about other factors, somehow political, family relations among others but even when such people are already recruited, we can put up programmes to make them skilled,” he said.
Catherine Anite, the executive freedom of Expression Hub said: “We have the media council of Uganda which is under the Press and Journalist. It has the mandate to regulate journalists but we have seen the Uganda Communication Commission usurping that role. We expect the respect of the boundary in terms of freedom of expression,”
She said the nature of work journalists do link them to human rights defenders and the coalition has set aside media legal experts to support journalists.