By Spy Uganda
Kampala: The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has ordered all gossip TV shows to air between 10pm and 5am as a result of failure to adhere to the minimum broadcasting standards.
In fact, UCC has since warned these media houses that failure to implement the above directive, “the Commission shall proceed to institute other appropriate regulatory sanctions, including but not limited to suspension of your broadcasting license”. The directive takes effect on Wednesday.
Genesis Of All These
The presenters, producers and station managers on Thursday, 7th October 2021, held a meeting with UCC officials at the head office in Bugolobi to discuss the controversial programmes that have been subject to increasing complaints from members of the public.
The programmes, which predominantly air gossip and celebrity news, include NBS TV’s Uncut Sabula and Uncut Kalakata, Spark TV’s Live Wire, Urban TV’s Short Circuit Sonsomola, ABS TV’s Evening Zone, Baba TV’s Poko Poko, and BBS TV’s Roundabout.
Others are Dream TV’s Tik Taka Sesetura, Kingdom TV’s Kapyaki, STV’s Select E-Buzz, BTM TV’s Access, and Top TV’s Kachumbali.
According to UCC, viewers complained that the language, tone and statements used by the presenters and their guests are often abusive, demeaning, derogatory, and contain unsubstantiated claims against the different subjects of their discussions.
UCC Ag. Executive Director Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo revealed that the complainants allege that the content broadcast through these programmes offends the minimum broadcasting standards and the Uganda Communication (Content) Regulations in the following ways:
- That the language and statements used by the presenters and guests in the programmes are often abusive, demeaning, derogatory, and contain unsubstantiated claims against different personalities
- That the programmes contain inaccurate, misleading and unverified content, which often defame individuals
- That the content in the programmes often invade the privacy of individuals, contains unbalanced reporting, and denies the persons reported against the right of response or an opportunity to reply against allegations made against them during the programmes
- That the programmes contain adult-oriented content, sexual innuendos and profanity, with the potential to disturb and harm children
- That the presenters of the programmes often appear on air when dressed indecently in skimpy outfits
- Considering the adult-oriented nature of the content discussed during these programmes, they are not appropriately scheduled. As a result, the audience is not warned about the nature of content often contained in the programmes.
The TV station representatives were informed that if the violations complained about continued, the Commission would be forced to consider suspending the offending programmes or force those with adult content to be rescheduled to a more appropriate time.
Some TV station managers, producers and presenters who contributed to the lively discussion argued that theirs are simply gossip shows, which shouldn’t be taken too seriously. However, the UCC officials clarified that the law requires all aired content to comply with minimum broadcasting standards.