The Media Council of Uganda was established under Section 8 of the Press and Journalist Act, Cap 105 with a mandate in Section 8(1) to regulate the conduct and promote good ethical standards and discipline of journalists; arbitrate disputes between—the public and the media; and the State and the media; exercise disciplinary control over journalists, editors and publishers; promote, generally, the flow of information; censor films, videotapes, plays and other related apparatuses for public consumption; and exercise any function that may be authorized or required by any law.
The Media Council of Uganda has been registering reporters and editorial staff of Media Houses to ensure that the industry is well monitored and sanitized from quacks.
Today, the council issued a press release stating that there was a need for registering and certifying media practitioners to ensure recognition by state players and, therefore, giving them a safe pass to cover events and relay information to the public.
Recent events of election coverage have shown that reporters/media practitioners are exposed to a lot of danger from all sides of the divide.
“In light of the aforesaid, the Media Council has engaged security agencies to find a solution to enable free movement and access by media practitioners to important events, in particular during this election period without undue harassment. As such, it has been agreed that all persons covering election events should hold a press tag issued by the Media Council. Without it no one will be allowed to cover events.”
The Media Council has notified all media houses, freelancers and other stakeholders that it is accrediting journalists and media practitioners for coverage of events in Uganda in accordance with Section 8(1)(d) which provides for promotion of information.
Section 29 empowers the Media Council to accredit employees and freelancers of foreign mass media organizations practicing journalism in Uganda.
The exercise has been ongoing but is now under review and resumes next week. Form G has been re-designed and it can be accessed on the Council website www.mediacouncil.go.ug.
Media houses, editors, journalists and practitioners that obtained accreditation for the year 2020 will also be required to apply for renewal for the year 2021 since all current press passes will expire on 31st December, 2020.
In addition, freelancers and foreign media practitioners intending to cover the forthcoming elections are required to obtain a Special Media Pass from the Media Council on request, showing particular geographical or thematic areas of intended media coverage. All Special Media Passes issued by the Media Council of Uganda shall expire on 30th March, 2020.
The Pass issued by the Media Council of Uganda contains security features that can be verified by Security agencies.