My biggest challenge is self-censorship- Monitor cartoonist Ogon

Daily Monitor Editorial cartoonist Chris Ogon. Illustrations provide visual narrative to stories. PHOTO/ EDGAR R. BATTE

What you need to know:

  • Editorial cartoons are one of the channels through which newspapers engage readers. Daily Monitor’s cartoonist Chris Atukwasize alias Ogon, spoke to Edgar R. Batte.

How did you end up in the newsroom? 
There was an advert for a cartoonist in the paper in 2012 after my graduation. 
At that time, I was working as a cartoonist for The Kampala Sun. I applied, did the interviews and passed. The rest is history.

What was your experience like settling in?
Quite easy. Coming into the Daily Monitor newsroom, I was excited to meet and finally work with people whose bylines I had encountered as a reader. 
So because I had an idea of who most of the people were, at least by name I did not find challenges settling in.

What does your job entail?
My job is to create, draw cartoons and illustrations. 
As the newspaper’s editorial cartoonist, I’m required to come up with editorial cartoons and often illustrations for feature and news stories for the paper.

How does the mind of a cartoonist work?
As a cartoonist attached to editorial, you are expected to have knowledge or an idea of almost everything happening in the country. 

There is a need to understand the environment, especially political, and in effect use the same to provide a satirical and visual interpretation of events and situations.

How important is an illustration in delivering messages?
Illustrations help in providing a visual narrative to stories. They help to augment written content making it easy and enjoyable (cartoons) for the reader.

What gives you a laugh about your job?
My wages...lol. But the fact that lately, cartoons are appreciated as a form of delivering and interpreting news events gives me satisfaction.

What has been the biggest threat or challenge anyone has given you?
I would prefer not to talk about external threats. Maybe my biggest challenge is self-censorship.

Where do you project the future of mainstream journalism?
The future will be challenging for mainstream journalism, especially with the advent of social media that makes everyone a journalist.

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