By Warom Felix
Arua-The role journalists play in society most time go unnoticed as there is still a lot of misconceptions on what they do in society.
Often times, they are not recognized for their tireless abounding work. Some of them sacrifice to face the wrath of the police and army brutality, censorship by the state through enactment of stringent laws and closure of media houses that cripples the media industry.
But now, Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda has announced the first Annual Media Awards to recognize the journalists for the role they play in society.
Police Public Relations Officer for North West, Josephine Angucia giving speech during HRNJ meeting in Arua while the National Coordinator, Robert Ssempala looks on. Photos by Warom Felix
The Award with support from Democratic Governance Facility is aimed at “Bolstering professional capacities to deter safety and security threats and risks.” It focuses on creating a conducive operating environment for the media to effectively play its role in society.
A journalist with Mega Fm in Arua, Candia Stephen, said: “Our journalists and across the country should be able to send in their materials for the Award because many of us do great work but go unnoticed. This is a great initiative which members from West Nile can even take up because people produce good stories that helps shape society through hardships.”
This Annual Journalists Award seeks to recognize outstanding individual practicing journalists and media houses that maintain higher professional standards in expediting their work in promoting journalists’ rights and freedoms.
The Annual Journalists Award is geared towards instigating sustainable coverage of press freedom issues. Instilling activism with a view of enhancing professionalism and security within the media fraternity.
Journalists in Arua discussing issues of professionalism and security.
Many journalists face death threats if they publish stories related to security and are issued with threats of notice of intentions to sue. For instance, the former Resident District Commissioner for Adjumani, Agnes Akello, the DPC Ojokuna Elayut and former NFA manager for Zoka forest, Otim Joseph have sued the Red Pepper Reporter in Arua, Andrew Amvesi, freelance Reporter in Adjumani, Amacha Goli and Voice of the Nile Fm. They accused the journalists for defamation in various stories published in which they were mentioned for alleged depletion of Zoka forest.
Copy of the suit
But the sued journalists insist that their stories were factual. The cases is now being handled by Lawyer Madira Jimmy with support from Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda. Send your entries to: email@example.com
Who is eligible?
All practising individual journalists reporting on media rights and freedom of expression in both print and electronic media outlets in Uganda.
All media houses within Uganda talking about media rights and freedom of expression a number of times and the amount of space given to talk about media rights and freedom of expression.
What Kind of stories will the panelists be looking out for (Print and On-Line)?
- The stories should be based on media rights and freedom of expression.
- Demonstrate a high quality of reporting/writing in terms of depth, rigor, research, investigative enterprise, innovativeness, clarity, proper sourcing, fairness, accuracy, exhaustive analysis of the context and background and an above average understanding of the subject matter.
- Demonstrate journalistic integrity (Professionalism and ethics) in terms of neutrality in the information provided and transparency in sourcing. Stories laden with anonymous sourcing will be rejected.
- All the submissions must have been published or broadcast on any Uganda Media outlet between May 2016 and March 2017. Proof of this will be required
- The Story should not have been submitted anywhere before for a similar award.
- We will look out for featured stories, special reports, photographic essays among others
March to April 10th-date of receiving of entries.
April 11th to April 18-Analyzing submitted stories