Uganda’s Ministry of ICT and National Guidance has challenged mainstream media owners in the country to fight the spread of fake news as the public depends on them for authenticity.
Nabakooba’s message is contained in a statement released on Sunday as Uganda joined the rest of the world to mark World Press Freedom Day.
“A lot of this false and malicious information is being circulated across social media platforms by selfish individuals who want to create fear and panic amongst the population; some of it is geared towards discrediting the good efforts of His Excellency the President and Government against COVID-19. I therefore want to appeal to all media practitioners to use this day to reflect upon the virtues of professional journalism. Good journalism is all about publishing verified facts and informed opinions,” Nabakooba said.
She added: “In a special way, I want to challenge media practitioners in the established independent media houses to ensure that they rise to the highest levels all the time. In this era of social media and COVID-19, the public will always rely on the mainstream media for guidance, for confirmation, for approval or disapproval of some of the misinformation that could be circulating online. It is always unfortunate when the mainstream journalists also fail to rise to the required quality of fact checking and verifying falsehoods and instead continue with the thread of misinformation.”
She also recognised the media’s efforts in the fight against the coronavirus, promising government support.
“Let me take this opportunity to recognise the important role of the media in our lives and specifically the growth and development of our country. This years global theme is “Journalism without fear or Favour,” Nabakooba said.
BELOW IS THE STATEMENT