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Prof Chibita’s Inaugural Lecture to focus on media freedom, regulation

Dr Monica Chibita, now Prof.  FILE PHOTO

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Dr Monica Chibita will deliver her Professorial Inaugural Lecture entitled “Between Freedom and Regulation: Reflection on Uganda’s Communication Landscape” on Friday January 17, 2020 at Uganda Christian University (UCU) in Mukono.

She will examine Uganda’s regulator environment, effects of media regulation, the shift from the old analogue forms of communication to the digital. Prof Chibita will also look at the related changes in what audiences like to consume and how they want it served through new media, as well as dilemmas for regulation and diversity.

“Media freedom makes it possible for voices which are not all singing one chorus to be heard in and through the media. It facilitates the co-existence of divergent views,” she will argue in her presentation set for 2pm at Nkoyoyo Hall.

She will add that “there should be evidence of tolerance of difference in the media. Otherwise we might as well go back to having one radio station, one TV station, and possibly one newspaper.”

Who is Chibita?

Prof. Chibita, 56, is only the second homegrown full professor that the Uganda Christian University Council has promoted during the institution’s 22 years of existence.

“Dr Chibita has not only shown herself to be a consummate academic, but very importantly a leader who grows her team. During her time at UCU, she has worked to train five PhD’s in a partnership with two institutions in Norway and South Africa,” the UCU Council said in a statement eight months ago when they approved her promotion.

She is now also only the second Communications professor in the country after Dr Nassanga Goretti Linda, Professor at the Journalism and Communication Department,  Makerere University.

Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a “person who professes.” Professors are experts in their field and teachers of the highest rank. Professors are expected to deliver an inaugural lecture in the first year of their appointment to let the public know about their research.

Research key 

In order to rise from Associate Professor to Professor at Uganda Christian University, one needs to have a doctoral degree from a recognized university, a minimum of eight years of teaching at an institution of higher learning, outstanding skill and effectiveness in teaching, advising and research.

A candidate is also expected to have supervised at least five graduate students to completion since appointment to rank of Associate Professor, presented work at public fora, completed consultancies and published at least five journal articles, chapters or a book. The application is then vetted by one internal and three external people, at the rank of professor – at least two of them with international standing.

“I have always loved teaching, and working with young people, so being in higher education is a natural thing for me. The journey to professorship started when I joined Makerere as a Lecturer in 1994. From a very early stage, I was committed to growth,” Dr Chibita said last year.

“Professorship, I am convinced, should not be seen as an end in itself but as an advanced platform for continuing to contribute, in however small a way, to the many challenges of society.”

Her numerous research and academic works include a co-edited book, Salawu, A. and Chibita, Monica B. (eds.). 2015. Indigenous language media, language politics and democracy in Africa. 

Outside teaching, Prof. Chibita has served on several boards including the Broadcasting Council, the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), the East African Communication Association, New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation (Vision Group), World Vision Uganda and World Vision International. She currently chairs the board of ACME and and is Vice-Chair of the World Vision International Board..

She has co-edited the African Journal of African Media Studies since 2006, and sits on several other Journals’ Advisory Boards.

Some of her works have been published by Palgrave, Routledge, Rhodes Journalism Review, Journal of African Media Studies, African Journal of Communication, Wits University Press, Mawazo and Communicatio.

Swimming, singing, church and aerobics occupy the spare time of this mother of three boys and two girls, who is married to Mike Chibita, Uganda’s former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and now Judge of the Supreme Court.

 

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