Aidan Eyakuze, the Executive Director Twaweza East Africa tasked media institutions to continue working towards building public trust by avoiding partisanship. He said that trust remains a big challenge affecting the media and it has implications on the economic viability of the industry
in the information disseminated by both Radio and Television in the country has
remained consistent in the last two years, a research conducted by Tweweza in December
2020 has revealed. The findings were released this morning to coincide with the
World Press Freedom Day celebrations organised by the Uganda Editors’ Guild at
Kampala Serena Hotel.
are based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally
representative high-frequency mobile phone survey. In a brief titled “Ugandan citizens’ experience and opinions on
the media”, six out of ten respondents (61 per cent) say that they trust
completely information heard on the radio.
This is slightly higher compared to the data collected in
2019, which indicated that 60 per cent of citizens trust information they hear
on radio. The same data indicates that public trust in the information disseminated
by Television has remained consistent for the past two years (45 per cent) while
the number of citizens who trust information obtained from other sources like
public meetings, newspapers, social media has dropped.
In particular, public trust in information obtained from
Newspapers has reduced from 27 per cent in 2019 to 23 per cent in 2020. Marie
Nanyanzi, the Senior Programs Officer at Twaweza says that the findings are
based on data collected from 1,500 respondents across Uganda from October to
//Cue in; “when it comes…
Cue out…2019 and 2020.”//
Aidan Eyakuze, the Executive Director Twaweza East Africa tasked media
institutions to continue working towards building public trust by avoiding
partisanship. He said that trust remains a big challenge affecting the media
and it has implications on the economic viability of the industry.
//Cue in; “the media houses…
Cue out…those particular challenges.”//
Daniel Kalinaki, the Chairman Uganda Editors’ Guild, says that the diminishing
trust in media information reflects on media literacy, growth of fake news and
disinformation and failure by media practitioners to speak about the role of
//Cue in: “but also reflects…
Cue out:…hold us accountable.”//
The findings also show that seven out of ten citizens (72 per cent) cite radio
as their main source of information, way above other media although it has
declined since 2017 (79 per cent). “The second-most widely cited source of information is TV, nearly doubling
since 2017(16 per cent in 2020 and 9 per cent in 2017). Other sources of
information remain very low in comparison,” said Nanyanzi.
He further revealed that citizen’s support for
freedom of the press has slightly grown over the past year. “A majority of
citizens (57 per cent) say the media should be able to publish without
government control, preferring this statement over the alternative, that the
government should have the right to control what the media can publish,” reads
the data brief.
The data brief also says that the majority of citizens prefer statements in
support of freedom of expression over statements that favour restrictions. Eight
out of ten citizens (77 per cent) reported that the media should constantly
report on government mistakes and corruption and those citizens should be
equally allowed to criticize national leaders.
Only 20 per cent of citizens
reported that freedom to criticize leaders is harmful. The World Press Freedom
Day is this year celebrated under the theme “Information As a Public Good.”