Why media silence on troubling things?
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Daily, we find people all over the Internet and Social Media complaining about how journalists and media houses do not cover things which are crucial to their countries or regions or politics.
Yes, it is lamentable and it should be condemned or else, we should all contact those media houses and ask their editors why they are not covering the things which affect us.
Media works on the following key things:
1) Is is it urgent?
2) What is the proximity?
3) Who else is running the story?
4) How much traffic can I get to my news?
5) Might I be crucified or shut down if I run this story?
6) Are my writers well known and respected locally or globally?
The above questions then determine most everything that comes next. AFP, Reuters, BBC, VOA, AlJazeera, Bloomberg, New York Times, Washington Post, CBC, Globe and Mail, Huffington would not go through these questions. In the last few years we have all seen Xinhua and very few of us use it as a source (no idea why).
Then after you are sure that you can run your media house without being arrested or shut down, you run all the stories your writers come up with.
Then it gets complicated.
In Uganda and as well as most countries under military leadership, you cannot dare publish anything which is not state sanctioned. You will end up in jail, beat up on live camera for the whole world to see, lose your life or have the media house shut off or raided. If you are on radio, you will be banned from broadcasting. ALL THIS FOR HAVING SAID THE WRONG THING AT THE WRONG TIME EVEN IF IT WAS TRUTH.
Most of the journalists Africans judge (and the media houses) would love to hear from you directly. We cannot demand for Europe, Asia and North America to speak for our people when we dare not even speak up ourselves. Please judge them gently.
And when it comes to judging the silence of our African reporters, please remember that journalists and reporters are now an endangered species in most of Africa.
Ultimately, news reporting from Africa and from most despotic regions has now become the work of people. People like you and like me. People who can use Social Media to immediately communicate what is going on in their community to someone a bit far who can send it around the globe instantly.
Many of us also live in fear but our lives are not in imminent danger. It would be prudent for everyone in the countries which are experiencing problems to reach out to anyone and everyone far from you because they might get your story out and help stop a genocide.
I was silenced for speaking about the Kasese massacre in Uganda. I have no idea how that worked out for the government.
Martha Leah Nangalama
Google has all my information
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