About the Project

Brian

Welcome to my blog! I am a Fulbright Research Fellow in Kampala, Uganda, where I am exploring the relationship between the media and the military, working as a freelance journalist, and working with a Ugandan partner to operate a bar and restaurant called Jakob’s Lounge.

In a political environment that is fairly repressive, the Ugandan media stands out as seemingly free and dynamic. Journalists are even able to criticize the most sacred institution of all, the Ugandan military. Upon closer inquiry, however, complex dynamics of ownership,self-censorship, and lack of professionalism by Ugandan journalists limit their ability to critically and objectively report on the military, which has been active in Congo, Somalia, and against Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. Through an analysis of 900 news articles from the three largest English-speaking newspapers and interviews with journalists, military spokespeople, and members of civil society, I hope to uncover the dynamic relationship between the media and the military, which shapes people’s understanding of peace and conflict.

As a side project, I am also exploring the media coverage of the 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Uganda’s infamous “Kill the Gays” bill has been widely reported by both domestic and international media outlets, but there is a wide perception gap between the two. Whereas international news outlets tend to portray a single narrative about Ugandan views on homosexuality, domestic media organizations reveal a greater diversity of opinions and beliefs. However, neither domestic nor international outlets have adequately covered issues facing the LGBT community to the satisfaction of the community members themselves.

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