A study of professionalism and the professionalisation of journalists in Uganda from 1995 to 2008

Mayiga, J. B. (2009) A study of professionalism and the professionalisation of journalists in Uganda from 1995 to 2008. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

This study seeks to examine how Ugandan journalists’ and politicians’ views on journalism professionalisation in Uganda relate to the broad theoretical arguments about professionalism within sociology and media studies. It also seeks to examine how such views impact on the democratic role of the media. The study finds out that there are two sets of distinct ideas on journalism professionalisation. The idea espoused by politicians is statutory professionalisation in which the state plays a major role through regulation and control, hence professionalisation is seen primarily as a control system. On the other hand, journalists perceive professionalisation as nurtured by voluntarily and socially inculcated professional values, hence as a value system. The study however, finds that both sets of understandings have their own complexities. While the statutory approach has complexities like how core elements of professionalism such as professional values can be imposed through legislation, the voluntary approach to professionalism also exhibits tensions within, especially stemming from the relationship between the professional and the news organisation regarding what constitutes professionalism. The study concludes that both sets of ideas have implications for the democratic role of the media, with both perceptions of professionalism curtailing this role. Statutory professionalisation in the Ugandan political context where the state is the dominant institution brings media institutions within its control, which leads to suppression of content of democratic value through a number of means. On the other hand, the self-regulatory perception does not protect media professionalism from the assault of commercial imperatives, especially when fused with state patronage in regard to broadcasting licences and placement of advertising.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:journalists; professionalism; journalism professionalisation; Uganda; role of the media
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN4699 Journalism
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Journalism and Media Studies
Supervisors:Berger, G. (Prof.)
ID Code:1735
Deposited By: Nicolene Mvinjelwa
Deposited On:12 Aug 2010 12:28
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:21
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