Kampala – The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among called on media owners to ensure journalists and media workers are paid their hard-earned salaries as the world celebrated the World Press Freedom Day on Wednesday.
Among made this call while making her communication to the House and noted that poor or no pay has led to journalists not doing their work effectively including reporting unfairly.
Among reiterated the need for media owners to pay journalists and media workers their salaries promptly.
She urged media outlets to ensure that journalists are rewarded for their hard work and that working conditions are improved in newsrooms, especially radio stations across the country.
Among noted that unpaid salaries have been prevalent in many media outlets in the country, leading to journalists not exercising professionalism in their reporting.
She argued that the situation has compromised the quality of journalism in the country.
“We also want to urge the private sector that much as these people work for you, you should be able to always pay them in time,” Among said.
She said that her office has received a lot of complaints from especially radio stations and televisions who have not been paid for over a year.
“The private sector should ensure that journalists are paid in time; they have families, they have homes, they have children that they cater for. These people need to be paid for them to work effectively and do better reporting,” Among added.
Poor welfare of journalists in Uganda remains a matter of concern in the way that it has pushed many journalists to get compromised and turn into extortionists as a way out for survival.
In a statement issued in commemoration of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, Journalists in Uganda had also expressed concern by the unceasing violation of the journalist’s economic rights by some employers with impunity.
“Some do not pay their workers even when it is a requirement of the law under article 40 of the constitution,” noted the statement by Uganda Journalists Association (UJA), an umbrella that brings together all journalists in Uganda.
The association addressed press at their home in Kawempe, Kampala jointly with other Journalists Associations, Uganda Media Women Association (UMWA), Church of Uganda Media a6ssociation (CHOUMA) and Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Media (UPFM) among others in commemoration of the 31st World Press Freedom Day anniversary.
This was preceded by prayers by religious leaders from the Pentecostal, Anglican, Catholic, Islamic and SDA communities.
This year’s theme for World Press Freedom Day as defined by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is, “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of expression as a driver for all other human rights.”