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World Press Freedom Day: Kasese Journalists Call for Better Relationship Between Security Agencies and Media

Moreen Biira from Messiah Radio, Gerald Muhindo of Salt TV and Saimon Bikeke, the UJK President. Photos: Joseph Masereka
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Kasese District Journalists under their body, Umbrella for Journalists Kasese (UJK), have this afternoon joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Press Freedom Day.

World Press Freedom Day is marked every May 03. This year’s Press Freedom Day, the 30th edition, was celebrated under the theme: ‘Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.’ The world over, press freedom and reliable information are – and should be – everyone’s concern and have impact on all the other human rights.

Journalists from several media houses in Kasese gathered at White House Gardens in Kasese Municipality to celebrate World Press Freedom Day. They expressed concern over the challenges which they face while practicing their professional duty across the district and Uganda at large.

The journalists also called for a better relationship between security agencies and media practitioners.

World Press Freedom Day: Kasese Journalists Call for Better Relationship Between Security Agencies and Media
From left, Moreen Biira from Messiah Radio, Gerald Muhindo of Salt TV and Saimon Bikeke, the UJK President

According to Saimon Bikeke, the UJK President, upcountry journalists face enormous challenges ranging from low pay, lack of contracts, sexual harassment among females, physical assaults, lack of protective gear, lack of identification cards, limited capacity building and professional upgrade opportunities as well as limited knowledge on digital Journalism.

Ram Kikam, a news reporter and presenter attached to UBC Ngeya FM Radio in Kasese Municipality, noted that it is unfair for police to arrest journalists on duty, without clear justification.

The UBC presenter asked security agencies, including police, to keep a good relationship with the media since the two institutions are vital in promoting peace and unity among communities.

The relationship between the state security agencies and the press has been a hostile one. Just recently, police officers pepper sprayed journalists covering a protest by pre-interns in Kampala. Condemnation of the brutality prompted police to announce that it had suspended the officer involved. (See Details Here).

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