Parliamentary Forum on Media
UGANDA PARLIAMENTARY FORUM ON MEDIA (UPFM)
Over the last two decades, there has been significant growth in the media industry in Uganda and considerable improvement has been made in terms of increasing freedom of the media.
Currently, the media industry in Uganda is a very active and flourishing sector of the social, cultural, political and economic setup.
Despite the increased level of media freedom in Uganda over the last two decades, there are still serious concerns about media freedom, particularly about the safety and security of media practitioners.
Over the last five years, journalists have faced harassment, violence, and various other obstacles in the course of duty. For instance, in the run-up to the February 2011 elections and the subsequent April-May 2011 protests, many journalists were intimidated, arrested, beaten up, shot at, and openly assaulted by the police, the army, and other security operatives, and in some cases by members of the public.
Although the independent media has remained vibrant, the space for media freedom appears to be shrinking. The fact that there is no parliamentary committee that singularly handles media issues hampers efforts aimed at pushing for media freedom and other related issues by Parliament.
1. Bring together Members of Parliament and other stakeholders to engage with the issues of media freedom and safety;
2. Increase the number of Members of Parliament supportive of media freedom;
3. Improve appreciation by Members of Parliament of the media, the laws related to the industry and help them focus better on positive media policy and law reform; and
4. Develop the capacity of journalists to effectively engage with Members of Parliament.
The Goal of UPFM is to have: “An environment of free speech, expression, independent and responsible media that guarantees citizen freedom”.
Bottom of Form
UPFM CORE VALUES
Accountability: The Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Media is accountable to all its stakeholders (vertical and horizontal) for all its actions and decisions. The resources at our disposal are not our own but a sacrifice through donors and members on behalf of the media. We are faithful to the purpose for which those resources are given and manage them in a manner that brings maximum benefit to the media. We demand of ourselves high standards of professional competence and accept the need to be accountable through appropriate structures for achieving these standards
Integrity: Members and stakeholders of the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Media will adhere to the highest ethical standards in all official obligations and personal responsibilities to the stakeholders. Integrity is the core foundation of individual and corporate actions and shall be manifested through honesty, trustworthiness, honoring commitments and taking full responsibility for our actions, both successes and failures.
Equity: In handling issues of media freedom and expression. UPFM treats every individual and group of persons with fairness as derived from a concept of social justice. It represents a belief that there are some things which people should have; that there are basic needs that should be fulfilled; that burdens and rewards should not be spread too divergently across the media fraternity; and, that policy should be directed with impartiality, fairness and justice towards these ends.
Freedom: UPFM will be act independently and will be at liberty in executing its duties from any external control, interference or regulation.
Impartiality: Members of UPFM will not be prejudiced towards or against any particular side or party; will not favour one side or the other, or try to influence anyone.
Pro-activeness: Members of the UPFM will serve to initiate change rather than react to issues by preparing for anticipated media oppression, intervening in or controlling an expected occurrence or situation, especially a negative or difficult one. We will create or control situations rather than just respond to them after they have happened.
Transparency: UPFM will conduct business in an open manner and will ensure that stakeholders will access information they need for purposes of promoting freedom of expression and media. UPFM will always ensure regular and open communication to all stakeholders.
National interest: UPFM will be a separate entity from the interests of any other group and will work to serve the interests of the citizens of Uganda independent of any political or state interests.
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Hon. Dan Kimosho
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