ACME in the News: Media Deserve Only Five Out of Ten for Promoting Oil Transparency

This article was first published by Oil in Uganda on August 7, 2013.

The development of Uganda’s media is hampered not only by political pressure from the ruling party but also by lack of professionalism, stemming from the attitude of media owners who care more about short-term profits than about good journalism, says Dr. Peter Mwesige in this exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Oil in Uganda.

Media reporting on oil, Dr. Mwesige goes on to argue, has—alongside NGO and development partner efforts at sensitisation—contributed to wider public knowledge and understanding of important issues.  But despite some progress, there is too little serious investigation and too much reporting without supporting evidence (especially about land issues). Some downright misinformation continues to reach the public—notably from influential, local radio broadcasters.  Greater efforts should be made to reach and inform these important opinion-makers, Dr. Mwesige concludes. And journalists and NGOs should be wary of cutting off the supply of information from government sources by taking too aggressive an attitude.