What you need to know:
... tribute to the editors and reporters that put in the long hours of heavy lifting so we can get the newspaper on our desks or watch TV news as we relax in the lounge. No one is perfect and overall, you do a great job under enormous pressures. Feedback is to make our stories better, not to distract us.
This time of the year is usually a moment of reflection, anticipation and hope. Reflection on the year gone by, anticipation of what may lay ahead and hope that all will be well or better than last year.
Many things are usually out of our hands and we accept them as they come but many are within our hands; to shape into whatever direction we choose. Many people touch our lives and our work, and sometimes we take it for granted.
In my first column of the year, I wish to pay tribute to some of you readers – in no particular order – that have shaped my work as public editor. You have shared your feedback on our stories – commendations and condemnations – and I have in turn shared it with the editors and reporters, helping make our journalism better.
First on the podium is Fr Lazarus of Arua Catholic Diocese. A consummate Daily Monitor newspaper reader, Fr Lazarus has always shared feedback on particular news stories and my weekly column that he says he finds hugely enriching. That’s very humbling! I look forward to meeting him someday.
Isaac Acong is another of those that raises the flag when we do not get it right. He does not only read the newspaper and pick out the gaps in stories, he also often shares information that could have enriched the stories.
Isaac is an electrical engineer and regularly advertises in the classified section. He once told me he had decided to engage the media differently by “ignoring the fire consuming newspapers from within and focusing on opportunities that technological disruption of the traditional media had brought”.
He said he was, however, not seeing the media industry and journalists sweating to respond to the “metamorphosis of the industry from lava to pupae stage”.
John Kavuma is another of our esteemed readers and television viewers whose association with the NMG brands dates back many years.
He is a stickler on issues of language, facts and context which he regularly flags. He also volunteers clarifications on subjects that are complex; the reasons we sometimes err, shares ideas and asks questions, like he did below.
“…normally in research surveys it is asked which media is the first in terms of breaking news?
Overtime I’ve observed DM lags behind specifically The Observer in breaking news of online local content. Whether political, or a serious issue, online DM reports similar stories either hours or days after. Naturally by the time a reader comes to your website, he or she endeavours to flip through where a headline is not somewhat similar to what they have already read.
Therefore the question is; where did the DM abandon its pace of breaking local news? I don’t think it’s the effects of Covid-19 because this was even observed long before the pandemic. The status quo literally remains the same.”
The other esteemed reader and viewer I wish to point out is Prof David Bakibinga who also regularly shares feedback on errors of fact, grammar and language. His repeated queries on mistranslation of English to Luganda words on NTV Akawungeezi prompted the editorial board to ask management to develop a Luganda editorial stylebook.
Dragan Atujune too has been terrific in sharing feedback and also holding the public editor to account on the few occasions this column has missed.
Then there is Kahunga Matsiko, a very well informed all-round reader that points out errors on every subject from religion to politics to economics and business, et al. He also shares and comments on articles that have made his day, generating debate on email groups and other social media groups.
Last but not least, I pay tribute to many of you – some colleagues in the media – that anonymously share feedback for understandable reasons of not wanting to rankle “comrades-in-arm”. Together, we can make ourselves better.
Finally, tribute to the editors and reporters that put in the long hours of heavy lifting so we can get the newspaper on our desks or watch TV news as we relax in the lounge. No one is perfect and overall, you do a great job under enormous pressures. Feedback is to make our stories better, not to distract us.
Send your feedback/complaints to pub[email protected] or call/text on +256 776 500725.