Next Media chief executive, Kin Kariisa, has stepped down as Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Kariisa announced on Thursday that he was leaving the body where he has served since 2015.
Having been “forced” to seek multiple reelections by voters, Kariisa said he figured it was time for him to step aside. “Today is a very exciting day….I wanted to retire in 2019, but the voters encouraged me to stay on. I wanted to retire in 2021, but the voters urged me to stay,” he said.
“As I step into the next chapter of my life, I carry with me the fond memories of our shared accomplishments. May the National Association of Broadcasters continue to be a beacon of excellence and a force for positive change in the broadcasting industry.”
In his lengthy final speech at the NAB Annual General Meeting held at Hotel Africana, Kariisa commended the work that has been done by the association in collaboration with different government agencies to address pressing challenges in the media space including high costs of operation and violation of rights of journalists among others.
“One of our greatest achievements so far perhaps has been the fostering of unity and collaboration among broadcasters. By providing a platform for open dialogue, we have strengthened our collective voice, enabling us to address common challenges and seize opportunities as a united front,” Kariisa remarked.
In July this year, Kariisa led a stand-off between the broadcasters and the government after President Yoweri Museveni had ordered for ringfencing of all government advertizing to the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. After weeks of boycotting government events, President Museveni agreed to rescind the move.
At his handover today, Kariisa warned of challenging times for media operators in Uganda including a looming conflict between artists, creators, and media, which he said needs to be addressed with the foresight to avoid bottlenecks that could arise including clear guidelines on copyrights.
Another challenge facing media houses he said is the emergence of technological advancements.
“As we embrace innovation, we must also navigate the disruptions it introduces, always striving to stay ahead and adapt to the evolving needs of our audience. Tech like AI for example is a double-edged sword that has enabled the growth of citizen journalism and with it a great deal of misinformation.”
Minister of Information Hon Chris Baryomunsi while speaking at the meeting, thanked Kariisa for his exemplary stewardship.
The minister reiterated the government’s commitment to continue to work with media houses, adding, “We do not view the media as an enemy of the government. Media is not an enemy. We are pleased that the media industry has grown to this capacity, and I encourage a partnership between the government and media to further transform our country for the better.” (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 041 4674611 or email us at email@example.com).