Important to allow media do their job

Monday March 29 2021
edit01pix
By Editor

There’s been bad blood between a section of the rugby fraternity and the media who have been denied access to one of the facilities – Legends Rugby Club – formerly Kampala Rugby Football Club.

The feud has been brewing for years as the facility managers, perhaps depending on their mood, choose when to allow media access to the venue.

Legends claim that journalists who cover games at the venue also take pictures of guests at the bar situated at the venue just like all rugby, sports or other entertainment venues.

Under their umbrella body, Uganda Sports Press Association (Uspa), journalists have previously tried to resolve the issue by meeting the managers of the venue and Uganda Rugby Union (URU).

None of these meetings have yielded the result that will allow media do their job. They have over the past few weeks been locked out of the facility.

This has escalated into a radio, television and social media campaign titled #BoycottLehends that is being spearheaded by the aggrieved section of the media.

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Uspa has also written a statement to Legends and URU management over the impasse. The latter remained quiet while Legends responded with a statement that did not hint on the issues raised.

Instead, management opted to remind everyone about the importance of following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) intended to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Clearly, it was in total disregard of what Uspa and many in the media wanted – a dialogue that sets terms for access to the facility.

Yes, media need access to Legends to do their job and those with the keys can claim to reserve the right to admit whoever they choose.

Under the present impasse, the clubs that host their games at Legends and corporate sponsors are the biggest losers.
For a sport that needs the media even more following an 11-month hiatus, they ought to be acting smarter to get everyone onside.

Today, many in the media have decided to only cover games played at the adjacent Kyadondo Rugby Club, Makerere, Jinja and King’s Park in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District.
It’s a radical action to solve a long running problem that should never have happened.

Across the board, we are seeing a lot more restrictions on media access to public spaces which Legends is part.
It could be fine if these were private events but this is the national league for one of the eight priority sports in the country.

The media have always been at the forefront of its growth from the late 90s and that harmony ought to restored before any further escalation.

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