MCT executive secretary Kajubi Mukajanga said in a statement that the council is saddened to see media outlets being shut down or fined by the regulator. However, he said all media houses and individual journalists must uphold professional ethics as they discharge their duties.
“There should be no excuse for publishing unethical content or one-sided story. Journalists must always strive to ethical and fair,” he said.
Of recent, he said, there has been a bad trend by a section of the media publishing content of sexual nature without regard to its consequences to the audiences. On the other hand, he said there are also media outlets that cover campaign rallies of only certain political parties or candidates.
While it is true that media outlets are owned by people or entities with political alienations, best practice requires that they serve the public for the sake of public interest and not interest of the owners.
He said all of this is what is causing the current confusion, especially during this election period. He urged the media to adhere to ethics as well as being at the forefront of advocating for the rights of journalists, the council has also been issuing regular guidelines on ethics, including ethics publications, ethics for information professionals.
"We should never reduce media profession as work of humor, slander, fabrications and humiliation to other people. That is not journalism," he said.
He said that journalism is a noble and dignified profession so people should not play with it and take it for granted because it is not hooliganism but a decent work. It is therefore important for media executives to focus on the importance of ethics and to ensure that at all times broadcasters or journalists pay attention to those factors.
Mukajanga said that the news should aim at informing, educating, contemplating, entertaining and questioning. He said, "The council values the importance of talent but talent does not take you all the way but gives you a good start." But talent without values or professionalism is meaningless and every media owner should be aware of it.
He concluded by saying that it is important for journalists to remember that media freedom must go hand in hand with the integrity and social responsibility of the media.