Ugandan media thought of the day

More belated conference blogging, but Maria Burnett of Human Rights Watch offered up an interesting observation about the Ugandan media at a recent OSI event on Museveni’s increasingly undemocratic rule.  As she noted, the degree of press freedom allowed to English-language media is often favorably commented upon – but newspapers and radio broadcasts in local languages are significantly more constrained, and this has largely escaped scrutiny by the international community.  This is really a clever way of controlling information flow to ordinary citizens whilst still maintaining the appearance of openness.  I’d be interested to hear any thoughts readers might have on this observation.

I took this photo in Kampala in early 2009 precisely because I was struck by the diversity of Uganda’s print journalism in comparison to Rwanda’s tightly controlled media.  It’s a shame to hear that this openness isn’t as thoroughgoing as it appeared.

2 thoughts on “Ugandan media thought of the day

  1. This is definitely a shame for Ugandan press freedom. I might be wrong, but I got the impression that Northerners were more dependent on Luo than central and southern Ugandans on Luganda. Either way, sad to think about the repercussions for many Ugandans.

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    1. Hi Scott – thanks for commenting! That’s an interesting point about geographic differences in dependence on local languages, and certainly seems intuitive enough, given the war and the location of the capital in the south. It’d be really interesting to look further into this…

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