By Leonard Kamugisha Akida
The government is working to harmonize communication policies as part of strategies to improve practice of journalism and the media for enhanced industrial productivity.
The process is expected to ensure the presence of policies that cut across the crucial communication sectors such as the media a tool to enable the country develop its capacity which at the end will be geared towards conducive environment for communication and the practice of journalism.
“Government is reviewing policies related to communication and at a later time concerned bodies such as journalism training institutions like UMCAT, the media and media practitioners shall be consulted to make the practice of journalism favourable,” disclosed ICT minister
Minister of ICT Dr. Chris Baryomunsi made the remarks on Tuesday (December 20) when speaking at the 14th graduation ceremony of the United Media Consultants Association (U) Limited popularly known as UMCAT school of journalism and mass communication in Mengo Kampala.
Baryomunsi who was the chief guest at the graduation ceremony also called for mutual relationship between security agencies such as the police and journalists in execution of duties. He however, urged journalists to remain professional in practice of journalism and in exercise of the freedom of expression.
“For many times, I have seen clashes between law enforcement officers like police and journalists. There should be relationship between police and journalists because you’re all serving a public duty.” Minister Baryomunsi asked
He proposed for thorough skills training of journalists on how to report in hostile and violent events as well as training of police officers on dealing with journalists.
The 14th UMCAT graduation was organised under the theme; “Consolidating Multimedia Training for Socio-economic Transformation.”
A total of 298 students graduated with certificates and Diplomas in various disciplines like journalism, Computer studies, Business Administration, Records and Archives management among others. These were 50.4% female graduands (150 students) and 49.7% male graduands (149 students).
Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Joseph Elunya, the school principal asked graduands to embrace the use of digital media.
“The traditional (legacy) media is under siege and the audience are increasingly going digital. Unlike in the past where one would receive information of a breaking story today after four days, you are graduating at a time when you can access and distribute information using digital technologies like YouTube. I urge you to experiment such digital channels and become content creators,” Elunya said
The UMCAT chairperson Governing Council, Stephen Mwanga revealed that arrangements to upgrade the institution into a first-ever university majoring in journalism and media training are underways.
“Our Chief Guest, I would like to announce that as part of upgrading UMCAT to a University status, we have made affiliations with Bugema University which will see admission and teaching of our students for degree awards,” he said
In addition, Elunya noted that the institution is in progressive standards to introduce Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) one way of supporting government programmes to improve livelihoods and create wealth for the youth to deal with unemployment.
He appealed to the graduands to become good ambassadors of UMCAT and asked them to enroll for further studies.Follow Us