Most of Uganda's media are concentrated in the capital Kampala, which has a lively and diverse media landscape characterized by critical reporting. However, 87 per cent of the population live in rural areas, where local FM stations are the most important - and often the only - source of information. Although press freedom and freedom of information are protected under the constitution, many citizens are not aware of their rights. At the same time, journalists as well as bloggers often fail to meet their responsibilities: Publishing well-researched stories instead of spreading rumours, and conveying verified information instead of biased opinions should be the standard but not all journalists live up to these requirements. The overall aim of DW Akademie in Uganda is to support the working conditions of different members of the media, to perfect plurality and provide unbiased, factual information to the citizens of Uganda.
One aim of the work of DW Akademie in Uganda is to promote access to information and new means of participation for young people between the ages of 13 and 24, with a special focus on girls and women. Children and young adults make up 78 per cent of Uganda's population and the country's destiny lies firmly in their hands. Yet they don't play an active role in the country’s decision-making processes. DW Akademie's partner radio stations offer young people platforms for topics and concerns important to them, providing opportunities for them to speak their minds, and offering forums for exchange on challenges and solutions with experts and local decision-makers. Via basic mobile phones and new software, young people get the chance to tell their stories and inform a wider audience by influencing the topics that are being put on the agenda of "their" radio stations.
Another focus of DW Akademie’s work in Uganda is on building the capacities of Ugandan journalists and media practitioners by promoting professional and ethical standards in the media. Together with Ugandan partner organisations, DW Akademie aims to build competencies in regard to research and unbiased fact reporting. Workshops focus on informing journalists about their obligations and rights, and provide best practice examples on how to use the opportunities at hand to deliver good work. The activities target media houses and media organisations on all levels that are interested in advancing their organisations, strengthening their staff's expertise, and delivering high-quality journalism. Furthermore, the project addresses press officers of authorities required to supply information as well as local government institutions to raise awareness and enhance sustainable structures for media development.
Funding sources: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country coordinator: Asumpta Lattus
Operational locations: Kampala, Jinja, Mbale
Local partners: Centre for Media Literacy and Community Development (CEMCOD), Hub for Investigative Media, Akaboozi FM, NBS Radio, Radio One, Smart FM, Step FM, Uganda Radio Network