Govt scouts for equipment to monitor radio, TV broadcasts remotely

MINISTRY of Information permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo says it is worrying that online platforms are driving the news onto the radio and television stations.

Featuring on a special programme on Feel Free FM recently, Kasolo, who was touring radio stations in Eastern Province with officials from Iindependent Broadcasting Authority, said IBA was trying to sharpen up the act of monitoring media institutions to control the content.

“You have a very big responsibility as radio stations to report the truth and nothing but the truth and to also balance your stories. At the moment there is too much of just basically reporting what is said without any checking and making sure that the story is not just cooked up. This is a day of false and malicious news, online in particular, but what is most worrying is that before it was just online and remained there, but now online is driving the news onto radio and television stations and that is very dangerous,” he said.

Kasolo said it was sad that very fake news was sometimes being broadcast to the detrimental of the nation.
He also cited the 1994 Rwanda genocide as one of the bad things that irresponsible media could cause.
Kasolo said IBA was looking for extra equipment that could help it to remotely monitor content and broadcasting areas for radio stations.

“We are looking for extra equipment and these days of austerity measures, it is difficult but what we are trying to do is to find equipment that can help us regulate this more remotely. But we also work with ZICTA to try and help us determine this. But we are trying to be independent and there is certain equipment we have applied for to help with the compliance so that we can monitor areas of
broadcasting and content,” he said.

Kasolo also observed that although it was close to two years before the elections, the campaigns were almost vicious in the country.

“…particularly, now that we are coming to elections, IBA is trying to sharpen the act, you have seen already there is a lot of advertising, there are a lot of rallies and things as though elections are next month but they are nearly two years from now to the elections but the campaigns are almost vicious and us as IBA we must make sure we control the content that comes out of these radio stations,” he said.

Kasolo said the media fraternity should have the responsibility of educating, informing and entertaining seriously.

He said the media had the responsibility not to exaggerate stories.

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