Female journalists tipped on professionalism, ethics

Female journalists in Uganda face stigma, and sexual harassment.

MBARARA CITY, July 8, 2024 – Female journalists have been advised to stick to professionalism and media ethics if they are to grow their careers but also serve the public better.

“As journalists, avoid biases in news. Strive for objectivity, impartiality, balance, and fairness in your reporting,” said Coslin Nakayiira Agasaro, attached to Nation Media Group.

This was emphasised during a media café held at Acacia Hotel by the Women in Media Association [WOMA] in partnership with Citizens Coalition for Independent Media [CCIME].

Meanwhile, Agasaro said female journalists in Uganda face stigma, and sexual harassment that have forced some of them to shun practicing the journalism profession.

“We face sexual abuse not only in the field but even at our places of work. For example,  if you look at the number of female interns, a few of them make it to the field. Why? Because of the fear of being harassed in the field while some of them are denied field opportunities by some of their bosses over sex,” Agasaro noted.

Through WOMA, Agasaro challenged the government and media house owners to address issues faced by female reporters so that they compete favourably with their male counterparts.

“Let’s work together to empower female journalists to also have a levelled ground in media practice,” Agasaro said, urging the female professionals to stand firm, independent and stick to the truth while reporting.

On her part, Praise Rukundo, Legal and Protection Officer WOMA, said their organisation promotes gender balance in the local media through networking, professional development, and advocacy.

“We are coming in as WOMA to advocate for the rights of women in the media so that they can be offered more opportunities,” she said.

Rukundo called upon media owners to promote gender equality rather than gender discrimination, and sexual abuse among other forms of violence against women.

She said through WOMA, the women working in the media are willing to partner with all media houses to create a civic space that would help to mobilise women at grassroots so that their voice is heard.

“Our mission is to promote freedom of assembly and expression as stipulated in the 1995 Ugandan constitution under article 29 which,” she said.

On her part, Adella Orishaba, a member of WOMA challenged female journalists to report on the issues affecting women so that solutions can be provided.

She appealed to the public to stop stigmatising female journalists, especially those working in the local electronic media.

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