From the foregoing analysis, it is evident that:
A. Majority of the broadcasters that were investigated were found to have breached different laws, standards and license terms and conditions.
B. Most of the breaches related to a failure by the respective broadcasters and their employees to adhere to the minimum broadcasting standards and the Standards for General Broadcast programming in Uganda.
C. The Commission noted that there is limited knowledge of the law and standards by individuals holding management and supervisory roles in broadcasting stations in Uganda.
D. Broadcasters have rendered themselves vulnerable by employing producers and editors who are not registered and certified according to the Press and Journalist Act.
It is therefore recommended that:
- Management of broadcasting houses pay keen interest in the way producers, and editors discharge their duties. Incompetence and/or negligence by staff is directly attributed to the broadcaster, and this may expose the license to regulatory sanctions.
- Broadcasters should invest in continuous training of their staff to continually remind them of the relevant laws and standards. There should be ongoing education, awareness and sensitisation about the Minimum Broadcasting Standards to the media house staff and the Professional Code of Ethics for Journalists and Editors and other applicable standards.
- There is a need to ensure that all broadcasters employ qualified personnel, who must be given employment contracts and paid decent salaries. The investigation revealed that most of the employees of the affected media houses did not possess employment contracts, which partly explains the lack of commitment to their roles.
- All broadcasters should ensure that they develop and update their editorial and social media policies. This is critical in self-regulation of the media houses and avoiding conflict of interest of their staff.
- There is a need to hold periodical meetings between the broadcasters and other media regulators (the Commission, Media Council, and security organs) to address any issues that may arise from time to time.
- The public should be encouraged to report all cases of unprofessionalism by broadcasters to the Uganda Communications Commission for appropriate regulatory interventions. This will improve accountability and responsible journalism.
The Commission would like to reiterate that it is mandated to regulate broadcasters and ensure that broadcasting standards are maintained. Broadcasting standards deal with the moral, ethical and legal implications of the programmes broadcast by a broadcaster.
They are meant to foster high standards, ethics and practices in broadcasting and the Commission may apply a wide range of sanctions for violations of these standards and practices. Such sanctions may include directives pertaining to the employees of the broadcasters if they violate the said standards.