Amy Fallon of Inter Press Service is reporting the NewzBeat, a news segment that airs on Uganda’s free-to air channel NTV, features hosts/MCs that rap the news in English and Luganda, the local language. Each segment is composed of a mix of four or five international and local stories and includes a human interest, sport and entertainment piece. The segment is hosted by Sharon Bwogi, aka Lady Slyke and Daniel Kisekka, aka Survivor, and also features 13-year-old anchor MC Loy. She is in school but acts as the show’s “special correspondent.” The goal of the segment is to deliver the news through “rhyme and reason” which has fans among the younger demographic while others are perplexed.
“‘Right now it’s a mixed bag. Obviously the hip-hop fans are crazy about it but there are people who don’t understand it because hip-hop is not big here, it’s just getting there,’ Kisekka, a hip-hop veteran who’s been rapping since 1988.”
Uganda does not have a great track record when it comes to media freedom. Last May, two privately-owned newspapers and radio stations were shut down by police for 11 days after reporting on a letter, allegedly written by an army general, that claimed that President Yoweri Museveni was grooming his son to succeed him.
According to the Press Freedom Index Report 2013, released by the Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda earlier this month, space for reporters to operate freely in the country has continued to shrink.
Nevertheless, this fresh approach to news delivery may help attract a younger demographic to news and current events while offering something new and different to traditional viewers.
Read more at AllAfrica.com.