The Speaker of Parliament has advised editors from different media houses, to understand and internalise the Parliament Rules of Procedure and take charge of the reporters they assign to cover the house, adding that this will boost the standards of parliamentary reporting and improve the image of Parliament.
Rt. Hon. Kadaga made these remarks during a breakfast meeting with editors from the various media houses which accredit reporters to cover Parliament, on Wednesday 16th December 2015.
“I’m glad to meet the media gatekeepers. We have invited you to seek your guidance, celebrate achievements, and see how we can move as common stakeholders to serve our major stakeholders who are the public. We need to work together and have mutual respect for one another in order to have an informed society,” she said.
Kadaga further cited that Rule 216, of the Rules of Procedure, which states that “Parliamentary proceedings may be broadcast by electronic media having due regard to the dignity of the House,” has been flouted many a times.
She gave examples of the State of the Nation and Budget speeches in which she said the press concentrates on non-issues and hence miss out on the important points.
Halima Abdallah, a correspondent from the East African expressed gratitude for the services that Parliament provides to journalists, which include a fully-fledged office with computers and internet, making their work easy.
She added that the response from the officers in the CPA department is positive whenever they are called upon to provide information.
Mr. Francis Lubega the news editor of Radio Sapentia, requested for better communication between editors and the Parliaments Communication Department.
This was the third media breakfast that has been hosted during by the ninth Parliament.
The Parliament plans to host quarterly media meetings to encourage proper information sharing.
The Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Chris Obore, said that there was need for improved reporting from members of the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA).
He said the Parliament was concerned that parliamentary reporters are disregarding the guidelines for Parliamentary reporting, and as a result engaging in misconduct.
“This should be stopped and can only be done with your support as editors,” he stressed.
The meeting resolved to train all Parliamentary reporters in the Parliamentary decorum, improve communication between the Parliament and the media fraternity and to streamline the media accreditation process.
The meeting was attended by over 50 editors.