Media Landscape in Uganda
Uganda has a broad and diverse broadcast media environment, according to nonprofit consultancy InterMedia. The Ugandan media represent a variety of viewpoints on oil and other issues and there are a large number of outlets willing to criticize the government. Still, according to a report by Ugandan radio station APAC, there are generally poor relations between the government of Uganda and journalists and hindering investigative and thorough coverage of developmental issues, including oil.
Since the discovery of oil in Uganda in 2006, there has been increasing media coverage around the oil and gas sector. To boost this, the Kampala-based African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) developed a program with the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) and the Thomson Reuters Foundation to teach journalists how to report effectively on oil and gas. The training program directly targets journalists and their role in promoting public debate on the sector, according to the ACME website. As part of its efforts to strengthen media oversight of Uganda's extractive industries, ACME and RWI issued awards for the best reporting on oil, gas and mining for 2012, in both radio and print categories.
The two leading national daily newspapers are the government-owned New Vision and the privately-owned Daily Monitor, both of which publish in English. The New Vision is the largest paper and is controlled by the New Vision Printing and Publishing Company, in which the Ugandan government owns a controlling stake. It also has sister newspapers in local languages – Rupiny, Etop, Bukedde and Orumuri – which publish in Luo, Ateso, Luganda and Runyakitara, respectively.
In addition to the Daily Monitor other independent newspapers include The Independent, founded in 2007 by a former Daily Monitor journalist; and The Observer, formed in 2004.
Radio is Uganda’s most influential communication medium. There are nearly 200 functioning FM broadcast radio stations and an additional 32 are licensed but not transmitting, according to InterMedia. The radio market is regionally-based: only radio stations of the state-run Uganda Broadcasting Corporation (UBC) transmit nationally. Despite the lack of national stations, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) says there is an average of 2 radio services that can be received in each district or city, according to InterMedia. Uganda’s radio market first began to blossom in 1993 when the government finally loosened its control over licensing.
Uganda’s television industry is comparatively much weaker. The market comprises 35 functioning TV channels plus 15 non-functioning licensed stations. But the cost of a television has placed home access out of reach for most Ugandans, according to InterMedia. TV reception is also notoriously poor in areas outside of urban areas.
- "Media Environment and Regulation in Uganda", InterMedia, retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Situation of Community Radio in Uganda", Radio APAC, retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Reporting Oil and Gas", ACME, retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Prize for Best Stories on Oil, Gas & Mining 2012", ACME, retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "Uganda: News", Stanford University, retrieved 11 January 2012.