At African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) we believe that journalism and the news media are an ‘indispensable civic resource’ whose condition affects the health of society. We also believe that free and independent media are among the most important institutions in a democracy. They are as important in developed countries as they are in developing ones.
ACME believes that advocacy for media freedom in Uganda should not be limited to annual events like World
Press Freedom Day, however important those maybe. For the media sector to protect and expand its freedom, it must be better organised and speak with one strong voice.
In the past five years, ACME’s advocacy work involved:
- spearheading the establishment of a peer-led media self-regulatory mechanism as a platform for improving professionalism, protecting media space, and promoting journalists’ safety and security, in partnership with UNESCO;
- various consultations, including with the print regulator the Media Council and the International Training Programme of Fojo Media Institute of Sweden, leading to the tentative formation of an umbrella organ
named Uganda Media Sector Working Group;
- advocacy against the irregular requirement by the Media Council to accredit journalists ahead of the elections
in a move that was widely seen as an attempt to stifle media and public scrutiny of the conduct of the elections;
- join public litigation against draconian provisions in Uganda’s Computer Misuse (Amendment) Act;
- a two-year project to document free speech abuses directed at the media as a basis for effective advocacy; and
- a detailed one-year research and advocacy project focused on threats to free expression in eastern Africa
in the wake of Covid-19.