Yesterday the Monitor Publications Ltd (MPL), publisher of the Daily Monitor newspaper began its celebrations of 30 years of independent journalism by printing a souvenir copy of the very first edition of the newspaper.
The stories in the paper told by the founders and former and current editors, showed how tough and yet rewarding this work has been.
Even as we get to celebrate this milestone, the question should be, what is the future like for independent and bold journalism in Uganda? What is the government doing to ensure that this kind of reporting is maintained because it helps keep its members in check? What is the private sector doing to ensure that this important sector continues to not only grow, but thrive because they need it to keep them informed? How aware is the public of the necessity of a free press, in order for them to be informed in order to make better choices? What is the media industry doing to ensure that such reporting is encouraged and that young people who seek to become journalists are inspired to join the industry, in droves?
These are questions we must seek to find answers to because the media forms a critical part of society.
The irony is that even though there are now many more avenues of information than there were 30 years ago, the public is less informed than it should be.
While various platforms carry all sorts of information, little of it can be vouched for. As such, citizens find themselves cheated, conned, and given poor services, whether it is from the government or private businesses.
Businessmen and women find themselves with the short end of the stick because no one seems to fully understand their struggles, or perhaps they do but refuse to provide solutions they can.
Fraud and corruption are the order of the day, not just in the public sector but in the private sector too. The ordinary citizen does not seem to have the right and helpful information on important things such as health, finances and education and so find themselves living on rumours and superstition.
This is why the questions on what each one is doing to promote independent journalism is crucial. With a robust press, people are made aware of their rights. They are told about their leaders in government and elsewhere and how well or badly they are doing their work.
They are provided with news they would otherwise never get to find out. This is why independent journalism must be pursued. And this is why as Daily Monitor, we do what we do.
Our commitment to you
- To be accurate and fair in all we do.
- To be respectful to all in our pursuit of the truth.
- To refuse to accept any compensation beyond that provided by Monitor Publications Ltd. for what we do in our news gathering and decision-making.
Further, we ask that we be informed whenever you feel that we have fallen short in our attempt to keep these commitments.