By Steven Enatu
Journalists across Uganda have been tasked to embark on knowledge based reporting in a way that is engaging to their audiences with the subject matter.
Dr George William Lugalambi, the Executive Director African Center for Media Excellence raised this during the three day training of 50 selected journalists across Uganda from various platforms like Broadcast media, print and online that was taking place in Kampala at Golf course hotel.
The gender and conflict-sensitive reporting training was organized by UNESCO in partnership with ACME, a Kampala-based independent Organisation committed to equipping journalists and communicators across Africa to seek and achieve professional excellence.
The training is part of ACME’s media literacy workshops aimed at equipping journalists with necessary tools to report effectively on gender responsive and conflict sensitive reporting in Uganda.
Lugalambi said because Uganda is a conflict prone country, every time that political tension rises, conflicts arise that later turn into violence. This stems from the way the country manages politics and this takes attention away from issues that the country should be dealing with.
“Training like this is important for this kind of sensitization to enable journalists pay attention that if they don’t do their work responsively, they can actually escalate these conflicts and at the end of it everybody suffers, spending a lot of time resolving conflicts yet this time would be used or invested in policy thinking,” he noted.
Knowledge-based reporting for journalists involves going beyond surface-level reporting and seeking to understand the context and underlying causes of an issue. It involves conducting in-depth research, interviewing a range of sources, and analyzing data to provide a comprehensive understanding of the issue at hand.
According to Lugalambi, Knowledge-based reporting allows journalists to go beyond the surface of an issue and understand the underlying causes and implications. This he said is essential for providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the issues that affect their lives.
“By practicing knowledge-based reporting, journalists can provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions about their communities, their countries, and their world. This type of reporting can also help to hold those in power accountable and promote transparency and good governance.” He noted.
However, when it comes to conflicts in Uganda, it’s important to recognize that there are several ongoing conflicts in the country. The most well-known is the conflict between the government and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which has been ongoing since the mid-1980s.
The conflict has resulted in the displacement of millions of people, as well as numerous human rights violations, including abductions, forced labor, and sexual violence.
To practice knowledge-based reporting on this issue, Lugalambi said a journalist might start by researching the history of the conflict, including its root causes and the various actors involved.
They might also look into the impact of the conflict on civilians, including those who have been displaced and those who have suffered human rights abuses.
To get a range of perspectives on the conflict, a journalist might conduct interviews with individuals who have experienced the conflict firsthand, as well as with experts in the field, including academics, activists, and humanitarian workers.
He also noted that journalists should analyze data on the conflict, including statistics on the number of people affected, as well as trends in the conflict over time. By synthesizing all of this information, a journalist can provide a comprehensive understanding of the conflict in Uganda and its impact on the people who are caught up in it.
Overall, knowledge-based reporting is an essential tool for journalists who are covering conflicts in Uganda, as it can help to provide a deeper understanding of the issue and shed light on potential solutions to end the conflict and promote peace.
ACME is a well-respected journalism organization that emphasizes the importance of knowledge-based reporting in its work. It defines knowledge-based reporting as “the method of gathering and analyzing information to tell stories that put current events in context and explain their significance.”
ACME’s emphasis on knowledge-based reporting underscores the importance of journalists taking the time to research and analyze the issues they are reporting on in order to provide accurate and comprehensive coverage
The gender responsive and conflict sensitive reporting was a three day training that began on Tuesday 22nd and ended on the 24th Feb 2023.
ACME organized this in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an agency of the United Nations aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture.
The participants in the training say it was a resourceful training that enhanced their knowledge and capacity to report effectively in the field.