International Justice/ICC: May '09

Radio stations, newspapers reproducing more IWPR articles.

International Justice/ICC: May '09

Radio stations, newspapers reproducing more IWPR articles.

Uganda print and broadcast news media have increased their use of IWPR news reports about war-torn northern Uganda as it struggles to establish normalcy.

One of Uganda’s leading radio stations, Sanyu FM in the Ugandan capital Kampala, is now regularly broadcasting IWPR articles.

“IWPR stories about northern Uganda are well researched. The stories are original,” said Sanyu FM news editor Linda Kibombo. “The stories about northern Uganda are hot. Everybody wants to hear and know what is happening in northern Uganda.”

“We shall continue having a keen interest in [IWPR] stories about the rebellion, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region. We shall be using the stories and crediting IWPR.”

Other radio stations that regularly broadcast IWPR material include Choice FM and Radio King in Gulu, northern Uganda.

At the same time, Uganda print media – such as the New Vision, Daily Monitor and the Observer – have recently reproduced IWPR material.

“It’s very good work. Keep it up,” said Moses Sserwanga, the Saturday Monitor editor.

An editor at the New Vision, who preferred not to be named, said, “We always use IWPR stories. They are well researched and in-depth.”

Daniel Komakech, acting director of the Gulu University Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies, said, “I always read IWPR stories online. They give a clear picture about the current situation in northern Uganda.

“I have used some of them for [provoking] debate amongst students of peace and conflict management.”

Komakech called upon IWPR to report on the effects of the war on the people of northern Uganda and what can and should be done to improve the situation there.

“You should go deeper and look at the effects of the war on the returning population,” he said. “You also should look at which community outreach projects will help to address the effects of the war and [produce] stories that raise debates among policy makers and implementers.”

The rise in republication comes as IWPR steps up its media outreach work in the region, with international staff sending local editors digests of stories and reporters contacting the latter directly.

Commenting on the growing demand for IWPR stories, Peter Eichstaedt, IWPR’s Africa editor, said, "We're getting the recognition we have long deserved as a leading source of in-depth news and analysis on the issue of international justice. As the situation in northern Uganda, in particular, returns to normal, attention naturally drifts toward concerns about justice.

"Because of IWPR's training and focus on justice and related issues, we provide news media outlets in Uganda who survive on very tight budgets with thoughtful and detailed reports that are found nowhere else."
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