Tuesday June 24 2014

Lira RDC criticises local radios

By Julius Ocungi, Martin Okudi & Bill Oketch


Lira Resident District Commissioner George Odongo has accused local media houses in the district of broadcasting information without thorough investigations.

Without naming a particular radio station, Mr Odongo alleged that “the media has excelled in the abuse of liberalised press freedom”.

“Proprietors of radio stations usually employ unqualified staff from streets who have not undergone basic journalism training to present programmes and host sensitive political talk-shows in the guise of cutting labour costs,” Mr Odongo stated. He made the remarks at the opening of a two-day regional media training workshop in Lira Town last week.

Mr Odongo said the Uganda Communications Commission and the ministry of Information should put in place stringent measures on recruitment of media personnel.

He said radio stations are competing for listenership by airing sensational news, instead of focusing on developmental issues such as health, education and agriculture that are essential to the local population.

However, radio managers in Lira said they should not be blamed for lack of professionalism among some of their employees. Speaking to the Daily Monitor, the managing director of QFm, Mr Ken Okello, said while they try to get capable staff, they cannot afford highly qualified personnel.

“Our business upcountry cannot be compared to those in the central region. Senior journalists and radio presenters demand for a larger sums.”