While mainstream media reporting in Uganda has improved greatly in recent years, it is still predominantly driven by commercial interests. There is still a need to build the objective reporting and story-telling skills of journalists to better report on issues of justice, peace and conflict resolution. Through the USAID Supporting Access to Justice, Fostering Equity and Peace (SAFE) Program, implemented by NCSC, 28 Ugandan journalists received an intensive, three-day training on conflict-sensitive reporting with the aim to promote dialogue, integrate diverse voices in discussions of conflicts, and foster more balanced reporting in conflict engagements. The training empowered beneficiaries to use radio to promote new conflict transformation models, to highlight successes in peace building and reconciliation, and to integrate diverse voices in discussions of conflict triggers, including the perspectives of women and youth. Trainees included radio talk show hosts, news anchors, news editors, producers and media managers. The training provided an opportunity for journalists to share their experiences in reporting on conflicts and to discuss how they can apply principles of conflict sensitive journalism in their daily reporting. As a result of the training, the journalists individually resolved to exhibit the highest standard of professionalism when covering conflicts and, and as a group, decided to establish an online network through which journalists and other partners can share resources, experiences and success stories on peace building journalism. No such network previously existed in Uganda. The SAFE Program will continue to work with media partners and individual reporters to enhance the role of media in championing peace in Uganda.
USAID’s SAFE Program is in implemented by the National Center for State Courts in partnership with Search for Common Ground and Global Rights. For more information on the USAID’s SAFE Program, please see www.safeprogram.ug.