The State of Press Freedom in Uganda

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The press-freedom landscape in Uganda is one of unique contradictions. On one hand, Uganda is said to have one of the most free and active media landscapes in Central and East Africa, and courts regularly rule in favor of journalists’ rights. On the other hand, an array of legal and extralegal mechanisms continues to limit free expression. In-depth interviews with Ugandan journalists revealed that journalists face dangers if they report critically about the president or his inner circle, but they simultaneously play a role in the limited press freedom. Findings from this study suggest that the actions of journalists have not been sufficiently factored into media development theory and propose that while the political science framework of the safety valve may be at play, Uganda is undergoing the process of journalistic domestication.

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