Media is any means through which information is broadcast or published to the public. In Uganda, we have several platforms operating as media houses including newspapers, internet, television and radio stations. The media plays a big role in molding and shaping the lifestyles, values, norms and behaviors of the people everywhere in the world. It provides information that can be used to provide models to whom people aspire to be. These personalities unknowingly play a big role in shaping the behaviors of the viewers. The media icons are capable of influencing the viewers in a positive way or negative way. A child can learn to be generous by following up on a celebrity who always invests their time and money in charity. At the same time a child can learn to be aggressive by simply watching movies filled with violence.
The media in Uganda has progressed through many hurdles to attain the level of skillful and efficient performance it has today. It has become outstandingly easy for a child to access a newspaper, listen to radio, watch television or use the internet and this has drastically amplified the influence the media has on children. Many parents are eager to provide a smart phone or tablet to their child regardless of their age but never really think of how to control what the child uses the device for. Few parents will be concerned about regulating the contents the children access to suit their appropriate age. Often times the child is left to wander through all the information they find on the internet even when it has grave effects on their moral conduct. Parents or older siblings at times watch television programs or read newspapers meant for adult audiences in the presence of children whose brains are so fragile and take in all they see. Some newspapers brands have continued to publish nudity and vulgar information which is shockingly sold openly on the streets amidst several authority figures. Innocent children get a taste of this immoral information every time they walk on the streets.
We all have a role to play in regulating what kind of information is accessible to children. Every parent has to play an active role in shaping the values of their children. A parent should groom their child with a clear conscience of what is right and wrong so that the child can boldly resist the urge of imitating the inappropriate lifestyles portrayed by some media icons. Parental guidance is a key tool in regulating what programs children can access on television, if harnessed well, few children will be exposed to adult content at an early age. The regulating bodies for media houses need to limit what contents are shown on television and what information is published in newspapers so that there are no or fewer cases of public nudity exposed to children.