Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Judge #Uganda #Media gently - their hands are tied


Journalists and News Reporters who work in a dictatorship face daily danger.  Many of you have watched our journalists being beaten up on live camera and this must tell you how much danger they face on a daily basis for only talking about the events in Uganda.
I am a victim of media intimidation.  The only thing which has saved me is because Uganda Airlines has never flown into Canadian Airspace.
We keep getting memos addressed to media not to write about the Kasese Massacre or the Kaweesi assassination.  The only way we get information from Uganda to the world is because we use Social Media.
When Elweru was slaughtering our people (my people) in Kasese, we got a memo not to talk about Kasese.  Anyone who wrote about it was gonna be arrested.  This is the reason why the Kasese Massacre was not written about by the major media houses in Uganda.  
One media house in Uganda approached me to write for them but had a condition. "Martha 80% of what you write is accurate but 20% needs improvement and accuracy.  We will give you 2 months".  First of all, 80% which I do half asleep is a high GPA score.  These media houses are losing a lot of revenue from lack of advertising and people not buying their print.  People in Uganda are eating termites and you do not plan for losing print revenue.  Then you have online news and you tell a person in Canada that they are only correct 80%.  As if I even care.  
Most writers in Uganda are paid around sh. 500k ($137) per month.  So I need to jump!  Damn.  Mini earns that in one weekend at her part time job while going to school and playing sports.  This goes back to the whole culture of thinking that employers owe employees who are willing to work for such pathetic wages.  NEVER.  Maybe my billing rate is not high enough but I assure you that at $300 per hour, there is no way I am gonna write for a paper which says I am only correct 80% only to see them drop pocket change in my account for my child. 
Where was I even going with this story anyway?
When police and government goons keep raiding the offices of the media houses, it is a lost cause.  Then they arrest the Editors.  In Journalism, editors never give their sources and you can torture them to death.  News Reporters and Journalists also do not disclose their sources.  In the end, it is the media houses which face daily threats. 
Right now the security forces are threatening a journalist.  They think they will get away with it but be assured that when they arrest one of us, 4 more will come out.  We just need you to realise that we are really living in an age where journalism is under attack by dictators who hate information getting out.  En plus, governments buy journalist silence.  In a country with a lot of poverty, it is not abnormal for great journalists to switch sides and all of a sudden work for the regime.  The ones who do not take the money pay a hefty price. 
Martha Leah Nangalama

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