UGANDA MEDIA: 2011 begins with changes

As Election Day draws closer and a New Year settles in, the print media in Uganda is devising more ways of increasing its readership.

While some print media planned to give their readers more, a new daily publication, The Razor was launched onto the print media landscape, increasing the number of English dailies to four.

Launched on January 10, the tabloid in its first editorial promised to offer cutting edge news with a human angle to it.

“If you slice beneath the surface of any story what you will find is the human interest angle, the story behind the story. And that is what we are going to give you our readers,” Mr Robert Mukasa, The Razor’s Managing Editor said in the editorial.

Two days after The Razor’s launch, The Independent magazine, a bi-monthly current affairs publication rebranded and also re-launched its website.

The managing editor of the three year old publication said there was need to improve the look of the magazine and the website to make them more appealing to the readers.

“We agreed to give you a better designed and printed magazine, a look that will be attractive to the eye and a design that will allow smooth eye navigation of its pages,” Mr Andrew Mwenda in an article on the publication’s revamped website.

He added, “…we also decided to improve the editorial content of your magazine – make it more in-depth, introduce an international column and add more variety and guest writers to supplement our team of young, talented and ambitious reporters.”

The price of the current affairs magazine has been increased from shs 3000 to shs 4000. “We are confident that you will find this product more informative, more analytical and better designed, but most important, true value for money,” Mwenda said.

Focus on online content

The new Independent website now includes new features such as downloadable multimedia content like audio interviews.

“We are redesigning the website to make it more interactive and to give it more features – a social media section, complete with audio and video interviews and daily podcasts. We will have also a section for freewheeling debate on major national and international issues. The new website has created a section for our readers to engage in citizen reporting. You can write a story for The Independent online and upload it yourself from wherever you are,” Mwenda adds.

One of the most important features of the website is Uganda Talks, a platform for readers to freely share their views.

According to the online editor, Joe Powell, “Uganda Talks returns to give you a regularly updated home for opinion and comment on all things current affairs. You’ll also be able to contribute guest material and subscribe to all the posts by RSS feed if that is your chosen way of reading blogs.”

New Election Website

The New Vision will on Friday 21, launch a new website which it says will act as a one stop centre for election news ahead of the 2011 presidential and parliamentary polls on February 18.

The website which was recently ranked fourth out of fifty in Africa will carry minute-by-minute updates from the campaign trails, profiles of candidates, tit-bits from manifestos, Electoral Commission bulletins, graphics and pictorial coverage of the candidates

“We want to make it easy for our online audiences in the country and abroad that are following the elections to track the candidates,” Vision Group’s Head of Digital, Louis Jadwong in an article published by the newspaper.

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