Sunday, November 1, 2015

Uganda: Police Should Embrace the Dynamic Media Environment

Samuel Baligidde,

image from
Among the media that build or destroy people's profiles, television is instrumental in providing free PR to politicians. But social media networks are a popular medium for maligning established politicians and building upcoming hopefuls. Anyone with a telephone and computer can access the Internet for the price of a local call. It is not uncommon for users of online communication to share a connection. Access to the Internet, blogging and other forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube means a new forum for articulating political and other demands have become available; coupled with criticism of not only private individuals but also government; comments on everyday issues, discussion on social, religious and political topics. Facebook pages are established for political mobilisation and, unfortunately, criminal activities.
To this array of new weapons of positivity, negativity are mobile phones, which allow instant communication and unprecedented possibilities for covert exposure. The police could address the undeniable dynamic media environment by playing it out on TV, regular interactive workshops and the Internet by using public diplomacy, which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has perfected, some aspects of which police are yet to embrace.
I agree that the police are often provoked; but with an obligation for honourable, and responsible behaviour associated with high rank, Opposition politicians and the police need to remove mutual antagonism from their methods of work.

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