JOURNALISTS TIPPED ON FACTUAL AND UNBIASED REPORTING
By Our Reporter
Uganda Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday held a media breakfast meeting under theme “Harnessing Ubos-media Relationship for Mutual Benefit: Looking beyond the Horizon” at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel.
Speaking at the breakfast meeting, the executive Director of the Bureau Chris Mukiza underscored the need for good statistics for the country for proper planning by government as he added: “We realized at the Bureau that good statistics is like clean water and clean money, if you have counterfeit money then you are trading in nothing because the medium of exchange is not there, and when you are drinking unclean water, then all the diseases will manifest.
He also said that statisticians have the duty to produce statistics that is clean for the benefit of the country. Mr. Mukiza further said that the media is part of the statistical system, and called for the need to enhance the partnership between the bureau and media practitioners to make sure that the statistics produced is well communicated to the public. He said that the bureau is mandated to produce data that the country needs not want, and they produce statistics that is impartial to both government and opposition.
Mukiza thanked the media for always reporting based on facts when it comes to statistics, and said that those who are still lacking in that area will be engaged on how to improve.
He further revealed that the Bureau will undertake a national census in 2023 in the last week of August and first week of September, and currently mapping out the country for better planning for the exercise.
Mukiza concluded that data is the most important resource in the world and it ought to be protected, and it can be done by the media who interact with the public on a daily basis. “Statistics is an important element in ensuring good governance and accountability,” he concluded.
Ofwono Opondo, the executive director of Uganda Media Center who was the keynote speaker on the day said that there is a lot to be done on the side of the media practitioners when reporting about statistics.
He also castigated parliament reporters who prefer to interview the Mps in the corridors of planning about things they failed to say on the floor of parliament during plenary. He further advised journalists to always put their sources to task to explain the source of their information if it is contrary to what UBOS is saying.
Brig. Gen. Felix Kulaigye; the UPDF spokesperson who was the guest speaker on the day rapped government communicators for not doing their job properly, whom he says most times don’t respond in time to journalists when called, and end up failing government by not being available to journalist.
However, he also faulted journalists who only call spokespersons of different government MDAs just to fulfill the condition of calling when they already have their own side of the story. “You are calling me for the sake of fulfilling the condition but you actually have your story already written, that shouldn’t be the case,” he said.
He further implored journalists to always quote the side of the spokesperson in their stories too and double check the information given by their sources before submitting a story