MEDIA CHALLENGED TO CHAMPION COVID-19 VACCINATION

Samson Okuru addressing the journalists in Soroti

BY ALEX AKOL

SOROTI: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2021

Journalists in the three districts of Amuria, Moroto and Napak who were in the three day training workshop at Strikers Hotel Soroti, organized by Development Initiative for Northern Uganda (DINU) have been challenged to champion the Covid-19 vaccination campaign so that the community can accept the jabs.

Gawaya Tegulle, the senior journalist and a lawyer who was the chief facilitator of the training meant for journalist in war ravaged and poverty stricken districts in northern Uganda, said the community we live in believe in the media, leaders and clergy.

He asserted that if the journalists in every media house preach the good message of the importance of the vaccination, the 100% set target of 12,000,000 Ugandans to be vaccinated will be attained.

Tegulle said journalists need to be researchers because everything they publish or broadcast is taken as gospel truth.

Gawaya Tegulle

He tasked the journalists to clearly communicate about the safety of the vaccines used to rubbish the myth circulating in the social media about Covid-19 vaccines.

‘”The media is in touch with the communication all the time and people yearn for well and accurate news , so, there is need for you to investigate your packages before the consumers get it. I encourage you to spearhead reporting local content which is directly taken and trusted by the people,” Gawaya said.

Samson Okurut the assistant program officer for DINU said the program is supported by European Union, Kondrad Adeneuer Sitftung (KAS) in partnership with the office of the prime minister for the districts that were worst hit by insurgency in North and North-Eastern Uganda to bring them on board to race with others in socio-economic development.

Okurut said they are focusing on empowering communities to embrace government programs, demand for good service delivery and accountability.

“Media are central players in every activity so as an organization we took it to ourselves to have them refreshed in order to relay the right information to the public,” Okurut said.

James Jemo a radio presenter in Moroto said the training was worth undergoing because it is going to make them value what listeners, viewers and readers need.

Jemo said the challenge they have with local authorities is finger pointing as the journalists are mistaken as hunters of errors.

Stephen Ariong, a journalist from Moroto said DINU, KAS and the office of the prime minister should always have regular trainings for all the journalists.

“Some media houses have the expertise to run trainings but their budgets cannot help so we need NGOs and government to keep refreshing reporters so that they do their work well,” he commented.

Gawaya told journalists to mind about the content, which their media houses want and also be mindful of gender equality and equity.

Sharon Aber one of the participants appreciated the training saying it was the very fast one she has attended since the Covid-19 outbreak.

“I ask the organizers to invite the editors and managers in the subsequent training because if the journalist get empowered with new skills and the editors are not aware it may cause friction in the newsroom,” Catherine Alany, another radio journalist urged.

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