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An analysis of the views of journalists and government officials regarding the impact of New Vision's coverage of the Nakivubo Channel Rehabilitation Project

by Kaheru, Hamis

Abstract (Summary)
The media is said to be an integral part of the policy-making process. Drawing from Berger (2002a), the policy-making and implementation process can be seen as a circuit or “triangle” with three major players: media, public and policy people. Any of the three players drives the process at any moment depending on the issue at hand and the circumstances. But at times one of the players may be left out in the process, thereby leaving the “triangle” incomplete.

This study set out to determine the extent to which New Vision was perceived to be part of the “triangle” in the implementation of the Nakivubo Channel Rehabilitation Project which was meant to control floods and improve drainage in Kampala City in Uganda. The study notes that the newspaper highlighted dangers facing Lake Victoria and Nakivubo wetland during implementation and advocated corrective measures to prevent pollution and a potential disaster.

Using mainly qualitative methods of investigation, I have established that research subjects believe that New Vision played the agenda setting, awareness and watchdog roles of environmental journalism. I also established that the majority of subjects believe that the public was not very instrumental in the process and as such the “triangle” was left incomplete.

The study also reveals that most subjects believe that coverage made government officials act faster and in so doing prevented a possible catastrophe. This conclusion is drawn from analysis of views of selected journalists and government officials. A few respondents believe that Kampala City Council officials would not have implemented remedial measures if New Vision did not report the project the way it did. The majority of subjects believe that the officials would have acted even without the coverage but they also think that remedial measures would have come too late.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:journalism and media studies

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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