″We don′t sweep stories under the rug because they are unpleasant″ | Media Freedom Heroes | DW | 03.05.2018
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Media Freedom Heroes

"We don't sweep stories under the rug because they are unpleasant"

The Cross-Border-Network (CBN) is a network of radio stations from Uganda and South Sudan. Supported by DW Akademie, it brings journalists together. Jane Angom is a production manager at Speak FM in Gulu, Uganda.

Jane Angom is the Ugandan coordinator of the Cross-Border Network. (Sheila Mysorekar)

Jane Angom is the Ugandan coordinator of the Cross-Border Network.

The Cross-Border-Network (CBN) is a network of radio stations from Uganda and South Sudan. Backed by DW Akademie, it brings journalists together to share reports, especially stories about refugee issues. Jane Angom Mujoma works as a production director at Speak FM in Gulu, Uganda, a community radio station that specializes in women's issues and community development. Angom was recently elected as the new coordinator for the Ugandan side of CBN. The network's goal is to spread newsworthy information, like stories from the refugee camps, by sharing programs and reports among radio stations in Northern Uganda and the southern region of South Sudan. The mobile reporters from the camps gather information that is then distributed to all the stations in the network.

With the DW Akademie, she talks about her work, her motivation and the topics of the radio network. 

"With my work, I support media freedom every day. We do not sweep stories under the rug because they are unpleasant or could upset an important person. We apply journalistic principles to our work and check the facts carefully before we broadcast anything. We want to include everyone in our program. This is how we make it possible for normal people to make topics that really interest them known to others.

A bridge for people's worries and needs

We see ourselves as a bridge that connects us to people's interests, concerns and needs so that leaders can hear their voices. I want to create programs that change people's lives and hold decision makers accountable for their actions.

We find plenty of stories in everyday life. Sometimes, however, someone tries to prevent us from telling them. Last year, for example, I was called and asked not to let certain people speak on our program. When I asked the caller why not, the only reason was that the guest's political stance differed from the caller's. Of course I produced and aired the show anyway.

"Giving the audience not only what they want to hear"

In my daily work, I make sure that the station runs well and that we produce enough content. My job is also to give the listeners what they need, not just what they want to hear, for example: we have created a weekly community learning program that addresses all aspects of sexuality, reproduction and hygiene. Another new show is called "30 Minutes on Refugee Issues." It started with the reports done by our mobile reporters - who were trained by DW Akademie - in the refugee settlements. We then put together a weekly show for and about refugees. The aim of the program is to improve relations between the refugees and the locals in the host countries and to give the refugees their own vehicle for expressing their views and thoughts."

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