Journalist graduates joining the labour market from higher institutions of learning have been advised to specialize in particular field if they are to change the communities in which they operate.
The Director UMCAT School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Charles Ogwel made the remarks during an interview at the sidelines of the 12th Graduation ceremony held at the institute’s campus in Bukesa, Kampala.
He appealed to graduates to avoid general journalism but have a specialized profession if they are to have broader spectrum of opportunities.
He adds that to make the public appreciate an extra-ordinary and unique work, journalists need to distinguish themselves.
“Journalism can change the country because in every economy they need communication. Journalism jobs are becoming increasingly hard because of attitude and mentality. Institutions need to produce specialized journalists to avoid the general journalism and distinguish them from a pool” Ogwel said.
He further appealed to government to create more incentives geared towards boosting the journalism profession through research, new ideas development and engaging journalists in planning for their programmes, which he says will create a profession for development.
He adds that UMCAT is to introduce a department of medical journalism to embrace the specialized journalism in addition to other courses including Business training, social administration, project management among others which he says are accredited by National Council for Higher Education.
“Apart from legislation and the enabling environment for journalism, government has not given enough support to journalists to boost their profession to contribute to development. Government can create incentives in research, ideas development aimed at enabling journalists to do better,” he said.
The 12th graduation ceremony of UMCAT Journalism School which saw over 454 students graduates in different disciplines was graced by Owek. Noah Kiyimba, the Information, protocol, Lukiiko Minister from Buganda Kingdom representing the prime Minister of Buganda Kingdom.
The institute according to the Principal UMCAT, Godfrey Mayanja has passed over 2,000 practicing journalists for the last 23 years.
These are from Uganda and neighboring countries like Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Congo among others.
By Drake Nyamugabwa