Discussion

Press-Politicians Breakfast Dialogue held in Serena Hotel Kampala

The first ever press-politicians dialogue to be held in Uganda brought together 50 participants; it was organised by KAS, November 12 in Serena Hotel in Kampala.

Details

Press-Politicians Dialogue Held in Kampala

The first ever press-politicians dialogue to be held in Uganda brought together 50 participants; it was organised by KAS, November 12. Participants included leaders of major political parties, media owners, managers, editors and leading political reporters. Others were representatives of media regulatory bodies and parliament. In his address, Principal Judge James Ogola challenged the press and politicians to identify possible areas of collaboration for example in investigations.

The breakfast dialogue held at Serena Hotel in Kampala was an occasion where leading politicians in Uganda met with the press and shared openly on several issues involved in pres-politician relations. It was a free dialogue where participants shared and discussed more openly on the relationship between the press and politicians in Uganda. Some of the issues central to the discussion included:

What the press expect from politicians and what the politicians expect from the press

What challenges the press face in accessing information from politicians and what challenges the politicians face getting coverage by the press

What the press or politicians in Uganda like and dislike of each other

Advice from the press to politicians of how to better get press coverage and advise from politicians to press on how to get better access to information from politicians

What is the politicians’ space in the work of the press and what is the press’ space in the work of the politicians

Any questions politicians have always liked to ask the press and any questions the press have always liked to ask politicians

KAS was motivated to hold the press-politicians dialogue out of strong belief that both actors have a vital and highly interconnected role in the democratisation process. While the politicians on the one hand hold control over the policy making processes, the press on the other hand are charged with monitoring actions taken by politicians and reporting them accurately and without bias to the citizens who in turn (or at least theoretically) are the “bosses” of the politicians.

KAS had noted over it’s long-time experiences in Uganda that in several instances, the ways in which politicians relate with the media have a bearing on what perceptions the media personalities develop on political activities and developments involving particular individuals and political organisations. This in turn affects to a great extent the dimension of reports made by the media on politicians and political activities – which also influences public perception of political developments. It is thus important that the two groups, i.e. the press and politicians, are able to maintain cordial and professional relations. This is not in any way to presuppose that either party becomes an agent for promoting the other, but rather to emphasise that politicians and the press need to be able to freely and openly share information. This information should include also “a straight talk” on how the press and politicians perceive each other in terms of the roles, responsibilities and actions of either party with regard to relations involving both.

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Venue

Serena Hotel in Kampala

Contact

Yusuf Kiranda

Yusuf Kiranda bild

Programme Officer

Yusuf.Kiranda@kas.de +256 312 26 20 11/2