RUBA Holds 1st annual members’ Conference as Gov’t Pledges Support

Rural Broadcast owners Association 1st annual members’ conference held at Protea Hotel Kampala
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30 November 2022 — The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Janet Kataaha Museveni has commended the Rural Broadcasters Association (RUBA) for uniting rural broadcasters from different regions of the nation saying it’s an effective approach and an essential means of informing rural populations, who constitute the bulk of the county’s population demography.

Rural Broadcast owners Association 1st annual members’ conference held at Protea Hotel Kampala

‘’I acknowledge your association’s notion of adopting rural media, to create an informed and engaged citizenry on national development issues, as very positive. This is especially true ,in this digital age, where the media is controlled in the palms of citizens ,whose dissemination of information cannot be readily influenced ,controlled or monitored by the rural authorities’’, she said.

This was during the Rural Broadcast owners Association 1st annual members’ conference held at Protea Hotel Kampala, in Kololo on Thursday which was also attended by officials from Ipsos Uganda, Uganda Radio Network (URN), Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), Electoral Commission (EC), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), RUBA Regional representatives and members among other stakeholder. The conference was held under the theme; ‘’Empowering local Voices, building strong communities’’.

Rural Broadcast owners Association 1st annual members’ conference held at Protea Hotel Kampala

The first lady in her message delivered by Hon. Kabyanga Godfrey Kiime Baluku, the State Minister for National Guidance hailed RUBA leadership for recognizing the value of gathering rural broadcasters to discuss the importance of advancing the field of rural broadcasting through information sharing ,networking ,collaboration and strategic deliberations.

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‘’Rural media is also a good medium for constructive conversations on positive trends and success stories, which provide solutions to community challenges and concerns ,therefore place more attention on exploiting rural development possibilities ,in this regard. In this way ,the public and authorities that benefit from this responsible reporting ,will readily put their trust and confidence in RUBA’’, added the first lady.

Rural Broadcast owners Association 1st annual members’ conference held at Protea Hotel Kampala

The first lady, who also warned broadcasters against using their outlets to promote conflict amongst the public, urged rural broadcasters to direct their concerns to the Uganda Communications Commission and also use a peaceful approach of dialogue, rather than activism, as they work towards mutually beneficial solutions.

Addressing participants, Julius Tumusiime, the chairman RUBA said this was the first members meeting since the formation of the association in 2015, adding that they will continue discussing issues of sustainability, the challenges facing rural broadcasters among other concerns.

‘’We are gathering here to request government jointly to come and help us because we are one of the key stakeholders.92% of the people believe in what we say as rural broadcasters. We want to make sure that our radios are work effectively and the welfare of workers’’, noted Tumusiime.

Kin Kariisa, the Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and Online broadcasters in Uganda reechoed concerns regarding the poor pay of Journalists , inadequate government support to the Media industry and unregulated user generated content by individuals which tarnish the image of Journalists and Media companies in Uganda.

Other issues discussed by various experts included; cooperation between government and Media and the role of Media in driving National agenda ,How media houses can drive profitability and commercial viability in changing times, producing local content for Ugandan citizens , and challenges in ensuring media houses comply with set licensing requirements.

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