FM radios have been turned into the dictators propaganda tools yet Ugandan’s still trust what they hear from radio’s as gospel truth.
- Your heads are not trash cans in which everyone powers useless trashBy Bakireke Nambooze
By 1986 Uganda had one radio station with various channels that transmitted mainly educative messages and news to Ugandans. Limiting as it were, a message could be received across the country in a single broadcast.
The move by Museveni’s regime to liberalize the airwaves was therefore welcome.Good as the idea sounds,I was taught at Nkozi University Department of Democracy and development studies that the FM radio revolution has been hijacked by dictators in Africa. It is said that in dictatorships there is concentration of media ownership (also known as media consolidation or media convergence) in hands of fewer individuals or organizations.
Contemporary research demonstrates increasing levels of consolidation, with many media industries already highly concentrated and dominated by a very small number of firms and ownered by regime supporters or institutions easy to compromise or intimidated by the Government.
In nations described as authoritarian, media ownership is generally something very close to the complete state control over information in direct or indirect ways. People or institutions believed to be pro – opposition are deliberately denied operational licenses or frustrated out of the business.
As Museveni targets FM radios as a mode of communication with the public,Ugandans will get to know who really owns these radio stations. The opposition is likely to be turned away from many of them.
Am told that almost each Minister in Museveni’s government owns a radio station. In addition prominent Pentecostal churches that are known to be patronised by the state own radio station both in the city and upcountry.
But even if these “businessmen” are to allow you airtime,who of the opposition figures has the funds and capacity to visit the over 300 radios in the country. Most probably this time around and more to come Museveni will be using state resources to carry out purely partisan campaigns.
We in the opposition should therefore up our game very well knowing that research has shown that most Ugandans believe what they hear on radio. How we should do it for now is reserved for a whisper I will have with colleagues but for those Ugandans who want change just know that we shall need as many volunteers as we can get.
But as a radio personality of over 20 years I wish to advise our people that the biggest weapon against any “enemy” media transmission is not to listen in or discuss its contents….when you listen in and thereafter discuss the program,you only give it a multiplier effect and even alert more people to tune in…
Why not tune to another station probably for a music show….What an easy way to resist misrule….#TOGIWULIRIRIZA@TOGISAAKO.