Uganda needs a human rights based media; an introduction of Unwanted Witness


In a situation where human rights are violated by both state and none state actors, there’s a need for a focused media group to keep documenting and reporting about human rights, but also, audit the realization of human rights.

As a “watchdog” the media plays an important role in guaranteeing fundamental rights and freedoms.
Presently, there is no media house in the country that fully relates with human rights in its reporting. This has thus created a gap among media practitioner and the realization of human rights in Uganda It’s from this back drop that a few media practitioners passionate about human rights developed the concept of the Unwanted Witness. The Unwanted witness is a media platform that seeks to bring human rights in the main media discourse. It believes that better journalisms or reporting based on human rights is better informing and developmental.

The role of Unwanted Witness is to bark loudly to warn people about threats to their freedoms and rights, to their security, to their livelihoods and to their culture. We believe that the media should contribute to the protection and promotion of human rights because they are the basis of all good journalism.

The name “UnwantedWitness” was chosen from the experience and the current environment under which the media operates today which, curtails its role of checking and holding public officials accountable for their deeds. By 2013, press freedom in Uganda had become elusive to many practitioners due to a number of challenges faced that were ranging from physical attacks from state and none state actors, intimidation, illegal arrest and detention, flimsy charges; too restrictive legal framework among others.

Such an environment seems to suggest that journalists are unwanted and have nothing to do with participating in the democratization of this country and should be ill treated for exposing corruption, bad laws and human rights abuses or violations among others Unwanted Witness comprises of a group of writers and reporters committed to use freedom of expression to realize others human rights. Its overall goal is to amplify voices of those whose rights have been taken away and change lives and partner with groups for a collective campaign to bring change.

We train writers in Rights Based Approach to journalism to produce in-depth and informative human rights stories which are published on our news website; and in the main stream media.

Our stories will be uncensored and citizens will be encouraged to tell their stories and experiences of the political, social and economic issues. Also, we shall be following issues in a human rights perspective to the later.

We call upon for your support through contributing opinion pieces on the running themes, and tips for human rights stories.

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