Members of the Association of Online Media Platforms meet the Hon. Minister of ICT & National Guidance

A group of online media managers under their body Online Media Association of Uganda on Thursday met with the Minister of ICT&NG Hon. Frank Tumwebaze in a bid to forge a way forward for the industry.

The group told the Minister that their Association among others works towards self-regulation and boosting online content’s integrity which would in turn build trust for online platforms among the public.

“Our purpose is to deliver factual and impactful news that move people, grows brands and builds Uganda. In the past few years, the internet was nowhere but has tremendously grown yet traditional media is on the other side declining. Our focus is professionalism, mutual growth and national growth,” Muhereza Kyamutetera, told the Minister.

The online media managers added that their reach has increased both on social media and website platforms (combined) compared to one of traditional media stressing the need for recognition from government as one of the big players in the industry.

According to Kyamutetera, government can easily tap in the benefits that come along with online media advertisement other than relying only on traditional media as a channel of communication to the public.

The group requested government to consider using their platform as one of the channel of communication to both the local, regional and international audience in a bid to promote national development.

Richard Wanambwa however highlighted the challenge of lack of information especially from government agencies and Ministries which makes their work difficult.

The Association’s President, Giles Muhame said they can as well run joint partnerships with government bodies to promote developmental campaigns.

In response, Hon Tumwebaze welcomed the idea stressing it is high time government considered online media platforms as another channel of communication and creating public awareness.

“It is high time we got professional agencies like your Association and government moves out of media buying. Like we do on legal matters where not every government organization has their own lawyers but go through the Attorney General, we can do the same with advertising,” Tumwebaze said.

He informed the meeting that government is now considering outsourcing entire media buying function to competent advertising agencies and is in the process of  introducing  a policy to that effect.

He however cautioned the online media managers to have guidelines in the way they do their job so as to attract credibility from both the public and government.

Tumwebaze stressed the need for the online media to push for positive content about the country so as to improve the image of the country to the outside world.

“If government is doing something good, be pro-government and if we do wrong, bash us,” Tumwebaze urged.

The Hon. Minister of ICT&NG requested the managers to have their association formalized and their after have an MOU stipulating how Government and these online media platforms can work together and have Uganda as a country promoted online.