Sheilah Gashumba’s rants may have turned off very many naysayers, but comes at a very right time when Uganda is joining the rest of the world to celebrate World Press Freedom day. Ooh May be this time, we should as well focus on salaries just like it has been on freedom over the years.
I have luckily worked with a handful of media houses and yes I know everything I’m talking about and since I’m not a part of them anymore, I will speak the truth.
Let me drive this matter to the bottom.
Very many Media Houses have lost or are loosing best brains/Journalists because of their poor pay(s). But also this Poor Pay has in turn largely contributed to the declining quality of Journalism in Uganda as opposed to our counterparts in the region.
Take for example, why would a company pay a Journalist 10K for a whole complete story. I mean for a story to be complete, one has to think of an idea, go to the field to shoot, interview, write a script, voice and even edit it.
Someone would argue and say trying to reduce cost but that can’t be at the extent of your employees.
So a Journalist is paid per story, this means they will have to work hard and get more stories since story count matters. This they will neglect the quality and focus on quantity. The results you very well know.
Apparently people are no longer paid by how educated they are. No, they are paid basing on experience and Talent. While this has encroached on professionalism its the way to go.
Very funny how media houses are taking advantage of this Covid 19 situation to rob journalists. I’ve seen a couple of internal letters on this addressing salary reductions.
The unfortunate part is you won’t hear any Journalism based organization like UJA, Media council oppose this. You know why? Because they are infiltrated
I’ve seen people say that working on TV gives you an opportunity to gigs which is right but this shouldn’t be considered more so when determining someone’s salary because sometimes the gigs do come sometimes they don’t. Pay people their worth. By worth I mean time, effort or Experience.
The unfortunate part is many Journalists are also Stupid. Yes you are and I am not sorry. They don’t use their positions to create different streams of income. Very funny I was in that league before I woke up.
Many Journalists have failed to enroll for further education, or online courses that could improve their knowledge ability to better themselves. Twedeko banange.
Journalists have been taken for granted for so long because that’s what people take us to be. We are always late at events, we fight for those small moneys simanyi facilitation. Why reduce our profession to this? We can do better.
Also journalists extort money from people to have them appear on TV or Radio, why because they want to survive and I won’t blame them but is this the future?.
Employment is a very limiting factor to very many young people. We are paid salary within the limits of our expenses. You are simply surviving. Standards of living change but salaries don’t.
When you stay long in Employment, you developed a dependent syndrome. At the end of the day you are only surviving. Your Job becomes your mother and father.
A person should have a plan and projection to move out of employment.
In life we desire to live but not to simply survive.
Let’s promote individual development and help people change their mindsets.
Therefore, for us to have a good Media fraternity in Uganda, government and responsible bodies should come in to safeguard this noble profession.
Media is the unrecognized fourth Estate. If we don’t work to see it better, we are doomed because no one will hold leaders accountable, no one will report about things that affect the society.
You too can share your story or journey. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.