As the government prepares to reopen the economy within less than a week, yesterday UCC instructed radio and television stations to provide airtime for government officials to sensitize and encourage the public to get vaccinated.
According to the acting UCC Executive Director Suzan Wegoye, the commission is implementing the directive made by the President, demanding media houses to host Resident City Commissioners and Resident District Commissioners on Wednesdays and Sundays from 8:00 to 8:30pm to encourage masses to embrace the vaccination exercise.
According to RX Radio Presenter Olive Najjuma, media houses are like any other businesses whose services need to be paid for when being used, even by the Government.
“Media houses are also running businesses and the time the Government wants to use for free is paid for by advertisers when they want their messages to be communicated. So why should the Government not be charged and what duration will the sensitization take?””
Furthermore, Olive said that it's unfair whenever the President makes state of the nation addresses that last over an hour for free, while advertisers who paid for the airtime have to endure the losses of not having their ads run.
“We are all for re-opening the nation and people getting vaccinated but if you want all television and radio stations to run the messages, it is fine as long as it's paid for. The Government is rich and has been getting all these donations to fight Covid-19, therefore some of it can be allocated to compensate media houses,” she remarked.
Fatboy added that the directive seems arbitrary,saying,“It is like telling a restaurant owner to feed government officials for free just because they are government officials.”
“I understand the part of social responsibility but it just seems so selective regarding who makes these free sacrifices.”
However, he welcomed the officials to RX Radio saying that this would provide a proper avenue for getting answers to questions regarding vaccination and vaccination mandates.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.