Self-censorship, haircuts and anniversaries

Despite having loaded up on espresso this morning, I still had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t in some ominous, Orwellian fugue state.

I did, and I wasn’t.

This morning’s story meeting at Mega FM started with the news editor explaining the events of the meeting with the top brass earlier in the week.

Seems the station’s journalists have been accused of associating themselves with political parties other than Museveni’s NRM.

Oh, did I mention Mega is owned by the state?

Furthermore, the station’s journalists can no longer be critical of the government.

This goes against all the principles of Journalism 101.

Objectivity. Balance. Impartiality.

This disturbing development was still on my mind as I headed out with a fellow reporter to cover an event on his motorbike.

But we pulled over shortly after leaving the station…for a haircut. As you do when on deadline.

Unperturbed by the impending deadline, Cosmas had decided to take me to his favoured barber now after I’d inquired about where a man could get his bonce shaved.

A quick scalping and lather later, we were back on the road.

Cosmas and I were covering the 75th anniversary of Sacred Heart Secondary School – one of the north’s oldest schools.

It was a slow news day.

The school was conducting a walk to raise funds for a new dormitory.

Gulu RDC on Sacred Heart’s 75 years by marcellison

The regional district chairman joked that this was a walk-for-funds rather than a walk-to-work – an event which recently resulted in several deaths in the town.

Just another day in the newsroom.