The Minister of ICT and National Guidance Hon. Judith Nabakooba has reassured Makerere University of her readiness to help restore the Campus FM to air so as to contribute to the training of professional journalists and dissemination of research and innovations.
Hon. Nabakooba gave her reassurance while presiding over the Annual Media Convention (#MakAMC2021) held in the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF2) Auditorium on the morning of Monday 3rd May 2021.
Hosted by the Department of Journalism and Communication since 1998, the Annual Media Convention provides a platform for various stakeholders in journalism, communication and the media to debate contemporary issues affecting these fields. The #MakAMC2021 theme is ‘On Elections: Media Freedom, Polarization and (Politics) of the Future.’
“As the Ministry responsible for formulating media policies, we fully associate ourselves with such engagements, and remain available to take part, to listen and to learn” remarked Hon. Nabakooba. “This is in the spirit of our commitment to a participatory and inclusive policy regime, in as far as press and media freedom is concerned” she added.
Whereas she welcomed the advancements in technology that have led to a rapid growth of social media and citizen journalism, the Minister decried the distorted and sometimes inflammatory content it often comes with. “We therefore need a robust and professional mainstream media more than ever, to provide verified, fair, balanced and objective news.”
Prior to the Minister’s address, the Head, Department of Journalism and Communication, Dr. Aisha Nakiwala had appealed to Hon. Nabakooba, an alumna of Makerere University and the Department specifically, to lead the way in the restoration of the Campus FM radio frequency. The appeal was re-echoed by the Dean, School of Languages, Literature and Communication, Dr. Saudah Namyalo.
Furthermore, in his remarks, the Vice Chancellor emphasized that Makerere’s research and innovations output continues to grow by, which calls for a bigger platform to stimulate discussions around them beyond traditional coverage of the launches. He therefore added his voice to that of the Dr. Nakiwala and Dr. Namyalo in appealing to the Minister to champion the restoration of the Campus FM frequency.
“In addition to training our students, it (the restoration of Campus FM’s frequency) would be even more useful because a lot of the work being done at Makerere University would now go out to the public” remarked Prof. Nawangwe before explaining, “There are a lot of innovations which could benefit our people but they don’t know about them and getting back our radio frequency and adding a TV station would help immensely.”
In response to the requests, Hon. Nabakooba asked the Head, Department of Journalism and Communication to write a brief on Campus FM frequency which would aid her follow-up of the matter with the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
“I promise that I am going to get in touch with UCC and find a solution to your frequency because we want practical people; if you have your frequency, you will be in position to train on it but also we believe that you have a lot of information (to share).
“I have visited some of your innovations, they are really good and you might find that the public are not aware of these wonderful innovations by Makerere University. We believe that such a platform would be a good one in as far as promoting what Makerere has done but also making it more practical for the community and also we in Government to understand the different projects taking place in our University” added Hon. Nabakooba.
To sum it all up, the Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Dr. Josephine Ahikire thanked the Minister for making time to attend the Annual Media Convention and requested her as an alumna to enable her alma mater’s Campus FM to resume live broadcasts before the centenary celebrations next year.
“We are due to celebrate 100 years at Makerere University in October 2022 beginning in October this year. And so I would like our dear alumni to make a commitment that Campus Radio will already be on (air), where we can sensitize, celebrate and create that positive momentum to take us to the next century. And to us, that would be the greatest gift that our own would have given us” concluded Dr. Ahikire.