Background

Over the last two decades, there has been significant growth in the media industry in Uganda and considerable improvement has been made in terms of increasing freedom of the media. Currently, the media industry in Uganda is a very active and flourishing sector of the social, cultural, political and economic setup. Despite the increased level of media freedom in Uganda over the last two decades, there are still serious concerns about media freedom, particularly about the safety and security of media practitioners. Over the last five years, journalists have faced harassment, violence, and various other obstacles in the course of duty. For instance, in the run-up to the February 2011 elections and the subsequent April-May 2011 protests, many journalists were intimidated, arrested, beaten up, shot at, and openly assaulted by the police, the army, and other security operatives, and in some cases by members of the public. Although the independent media has remained vibrant, the space for media freedom appears to be shrinking. The fact that there is no parliamentary committee that singularly handles media issues hampers efforts aimed at pushing for media freedom and other related issues by Parliament.