Security Minister, Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde has defended the role of the media in disseminating information, saying it is critical for social economic and political stability, which spurs development.
According to Tumukunde, the media is second in command in security matters because of the information it disseminates on daily basis.
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Tumukunde was delivering a keynote address at a conference on "media coverage and security in Uganda" at office of prime minister this morning.
He cited the need to involve the media in security matter because of the information they publish and broadcast. The conference, he said, will come up with a common ground on media reports and national security as well as what is of national interest.
“Media can also hold government accountable through holding government officials accountable and demand for service delivery,” he said. However, he cautioned against bad media, which he said can undermine development and national security through sensational and false reporting.
The consequences of bad media, he said, are breeding uncertainties among citizens. He said journalists should not shy away from critical issues such as human rights violations through ethical and accurate reporting.
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Speaking at the same meeting, Margaret Sentamu Masagazi, the Executive Director, Uganda Media Women Association-UMWA called for dialogue between the media and security.
According to Masagazi, security agencies have failed to appreciate the role of the media, which has led to mistrust. “The more you hide information the more impetus you give the media to investigate you,” she said.
She also called on media practitioners to put the country first in their reporting. "Before being Journalists, we are Ugandans so we have to think twice before publishing and broadcasting, “she said.