Lets take a reality check; When was the last time you bought and read a dead-tree newspaper? Your internet-connected smartphone always buzzing away with notifications of what your friends are doing on social media or breaking news from News apps have probably taken the place of the good old paper.
Information is now closer to us than ever before. As close as tapping away your thumb on your touchscreen phone. But that influx of information might also distract you from the most important stories of the day.
Here’s how to keep tabs with the latest Ugandan news.
#1. Social Media
Facebook changed how we consumed news. Most people log on to the social network to catch up with what their friends are up to. However, as they do so, they get informed of what’s happening. News is most likely going to be broken on social media than mainstream media house.
Democratization of publishing and distribution platforms has made everyone a journalist in their own right (read: citizen journalists). For instance, Amama Mbabazi’s sacking was almost entirely reported on Twitter on a minute by minute basis by Tweeps who were closer to the source of the story than any mainstream media house.
But if you want the real journalistic-style kind of News on Social media, then veteran journalist, Timothy Kalyegira has a fully-fledged Facebook Newspaper for you. News24 Uganda is yet another newcomer in the game experimenting with providing upto date news on Social Media.
#2. Online Newspapers
The newspapers have transitioned or rather are acknowledging the inevitable future of the media landscape. Separating journalism from the Medium — dead-tree paper — is profoundly crucial for Newspapers companies to survive the impending digital media firestorm.
Fortunately all the dailies have vibrant online presence. New Vision is always posting up to date (although sometimes late) news on their website. They also understand the power of social media, so they share their content on their social channels.
But monetization models for online news companies isn’t as obvious as offline print papers. The paper is currently experimenting with a pay wall where you access the entire paper for a fee of UGX 1,600 per issue. The Daily Monitor has a similar arrangement of both Freemium content freely accessible on their website and paid subscription on its Monitor e-paper.
#3. Online news sources
Several digital media platforms that provide the latest local news are on the rise. Smartphones and affordable data rates are the two most important factors making digital media a reality.
Chimpreports, a digital-only newspaper is making significant strides in pioneering the next wave of News websites in Uganda. The media house is providing news for the connected generation. That’s why they’ve invested heavily in a well-designed website optimized for social, search and Mobile.
The digital age has made regional news websites possible. Acholi Times for instance is a website dedicated to providing the latest stories from the Acholi region. Uganda Radio Network is yet another independent news agency dedicated to providing the highest quality of news programming. For Ugandans in the diaspora, Ugandan Diaspora aims to keep Ugandans overseas updated with the latest news and events.
Starting a blog these days requires an email address and a password. That’s it. That’s why according to data so far collected by Dignited sister website Storipot, there are currently more than 330 Ugandan blogs listed on the site’s blog directory. But there could be at least 1,000 blogs in Uganda.
Blogs provide fresh, unbiased perspective to current events in the country. Blogging is the closest we have come to independent media and that’s why they are increasingly becoming popular. They are often niche-specific providing authoritative information in those niche markets. This blog for instance prides itself in providing extensive reporting on Tech developments in Uganda, showcasing Innovation that often miss the attention of mainstream media houses.
If you want to know which blogs you can follow, simply visit http://storipot.com/ and discover for yourself some of the most authentic, fresh, engaging content from Uganda.
#5. News Apps
Finally, News Apps can really help you keep tabs on the most important stories of the day. There are number of options to choose from when when it comes to news apps. Although there’s one downside; most of these Apps feature US-centric news sources and less of local publishers.
One local App has attempted to provide you with an all-round collection of local News. But it severely lacks in design and functionality compared to international Apps such as Flippboard, Play Stand, Feedly, Press among other News Apps.