This article was first published by Campus Times.
On Wednesday 26th November Trevor Ncube delivered the highly anticipated public lecture on Media and Politics, the renowned media Mogul started off by cautioning his audience that some of his remarks in the course of the lecture would upset them.
Indeed when Trevor Ncube started reproving the Ugandan media for perpetuating the bigotry against gays in Uganda, some people in the audience could be seen turning uneasily in their seats. No wonder that during the question and answer session, he had to deal with a barrage of questions on the subject.
“Did we gain our political freedom so as to turn into oppressors against the minorities?” he wondered.
“Freedom of Expression must protected,” he asserted, “even for those whose views we disagree with”
“If we don’t believe in the freedom of expression of the people we despise, then we don’t believe in it at all.”
Ncube also highlighted the sway of the social media on contemporary politics.
“Gone are the days when all the despot had to do was take off the Radio and the Television. “It is no longer possible.” Trevor Ncube stated.
“Twitter, Whats up and Facebook have become the new political rally. The revolution will not be televised but it will be tweeted live.”
When commenting on the influence of these new media tools on traditional media, he urged the traditional media to embrace social media and the other new media tools and technology.
“We need to understand this technology, let us not look at it as a threat but as an opportunity.” He said.
The Media proprietor emphasised that journalists should package their stories differently since they can no longer break stories as it was in the past.
He challenged journalists to be more informed than the audiences they write for and write more insightful and analytical stories if they are to remain relevant in the new media age.
Trevor Ncube was particularly critical of journalists who are stuck in the brown envelope culture where they have to be bribed to report or kill stories.
“Nobody will take us seriously as long as they think we are paid to write stories” He said.
The lecture series are aimed at offering a higher-level platform for Ugandan media practitioners and friends of the media to reflect broadly on the intersection between media and politics on the continent as well as contribute to the resurgent cultural and intellectual life of Kampala, and indeed Uganda.