The role of civil society towards promotion of press freedom; a case study of human rights network for Journalists-Uganda

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Kampala International University, College of Humanities and social sciences.
The study the role of civil society towards promoting press freedom in Uganda using a case study of Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ). It was guided by three objectives that is; to examine the role played by civil society towards promotion of press freedom in Uganda, to identify the challenges faced by civil society while conducting its activities and to identify opportunities in terms of advancement of the civil society work.. The study adopted a descriptive research design applying both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. A total of 30 respondents participated in the study and these included journalists and HRNJ-Uganda staff. Self-administered questionnaires and key informant interviews were the methods of data collection. The findings concluded that the major activities carried out by HRNJ-Uganda are; dealing with issues affecting the profession responsively and effectively especially representing journalists dragged to court and rescue of journalists deprived of communication and in challenging government actions that threaten and undermine freedom of the press; and tracking violations committed against journalists. it was also concluded that the major challenges facing HRNJ-Uganda are; high expectations from members, shrinking donor opportunities, delay of justice for cases, compromise by perpetrators for journalists to withdraw cases, and insufficient funding. Lastly, the study concluded that the biggest opportunity of HRNJ-Uganda is interest by other partners to work with the organization, more subscriptions from journalists, increased donor support, and ratification of various human rights instruments by government of Uganda. The study made the following recommendations were observed; Government should quickly investigate attacks against journalists and prosecute their attackers. All suspects who are on committal and in prison should have their cases heard expeditiously. Reports emerging out from investigations of murdered journalists should be made public and those involved brought to justice.
A research report submitted to the faculty of journalism and media studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of a Degree of Mass Communication of Kampala International University
Civil society, Press freedom, Human rights network, Journalists-Uganda