Uganda Health Communication Alliance

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UHCA Principles

The Uganda Health Communications Alliance seeks to improve the quality and quantity of information about health that is available to the public. This includes information concerning such matters as disease, medical care, and personal behavior that affects the health of individuals, as well as information about political, economic and social conditions that shapes the health of the entire population. Our ultimate goal is to empower people, both individually and collectively, to make informed decisions.

To achieve this mission, we pledge to pursue the truth in everything we do. The journalists among us promise to assemble and carefully verify all the facts and perspectives our readers need in order to make informed decisions. Those of us from other fields of communication pledge to adhere to high standards of honesty, and refrain from misleading others. And all our members pledge to be as transparent as possible about our sources and methods of information gathering, so that others may assess the reliability of the information we provide.

We do not advocate any particular set of policies. While our members serve diverse constituencies, the first and only obligation of the alliance is to citizens. This commitment requires us to report the truth without regard to whether it represents our personal views or serves the interests of the organizations that employ us, advertisers, employers, funders, political leaders or anybody else.

Further, we recognize and seek to promote the unique and vital role of an independent press in society. In particular, the journalists among us pledge to defend our independence and to avoid conflicts-of-interest – especially financial arrangements – that might compromise our independence or lead others to doubt our objectivity. The communications professionals among us pledge to support the independence of the press and oppose information strategies or other actions designed to compromise it. Collectively, we all pledge to work to improve the professionalism and elevate the working standards of health journalists.

In our commitment to the free flow of information, we promise to do all we can to foster healthy public discussion concerning health issues. In particular, we pledge to give all relevant stakeholders an opportunity to have their views reflected in the matters we cover. Among other things, we encourage research, and if we report information about particular individuals or groups, we pledge to give them an opportunity to respond or comment.

Finally, we recognize that we must strive to make the information we provide both interesting and relevant to the public. This involves reporting information that is important to our readers as individuals and citizens, and exercising the craft of storytelling to ensure that such information is provided to them in a compelling and meaningful way.

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