Monday, April 18, 2011

Govmt threatens journalists, attempts to silence social media

From website, The Daily Monitor, April 18: "Journalists are encamped at Kasangati Police Post, afraid of moving out to cover the running battles after one military officer told them that 'shooting a journalist by mistake is not a crime,' according to our reporter on the scene, Mr Gerald Bareebe."

Meanwhile, a new report confirms that the government tried, but failed, to censor Twitter and Facebook during unrest last week.

How should Ugandan journalists cover unrest, violence?

The following exchange took place on the Peace Journalism Facebook page today:
Question from journalist David, Mbale:
How should a peace journalist cover an event like the arrest of the Kiza Besigye and other Ugandan Opposition Leaders be covered?

Response from Steven Youngblood:
These events must be covered, so the question is how. I say, cover it as honestly as possible without using inflammatory language. Take extra care to be accurate, since rumours can be deadly under these circumstances. Don't give voice to those who preach violence. Don't make a bad situation worse. When covering breaking, live events, don't let the rush to be first cloud your judgment as you carefully weigh the consequences of what you report and how you report it. Expose government violence without implying that violent retribution is the only response to government violence. But be balanced, and also expose violence (and those who preach violence) in the opposition. Help your listeners and communities explore peaceful options. And, above all, be careful. Your personal safety comes first.

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