The Sadness about televison… and the people who find it irresistable

Watching television
Until last year, the Ugandan media landscape was gased with foreign programming in the form of soap operas, south African drama, you name it.

This had placed a ceiling on the growth of the local entertainment industry advertently or inadvertently and was evidenced by the relegation of the Ugandan local performing arts, like dramas and comedy shows to crumbling theatre stages and entertainment local bar revellers.

The average of say soap operas on one of the channels was 3 and all running concurrently in the same day. And this is only a conservative estimate.
Other stattions had even more.

The late nights would have their own set of shows.

Well, as you ought to be the know by now, their was a directive passed by the Uganda Communications commission requiring all media houses to air local indigenous content by upto 70% at a minimum of their content.

One could claim that this was NRM’s gift to the entertainment industry and particularly the performing arts, since they are the biggest beneficiaries of this policy decision.

The industry has largely grown out of it’s own effort without a lot of incentives from the government.

That’s besides the point.

When you look at the content and the class of viewers its intended for and looking at the general makeup of our population, you easily conclude most viewers shouldn’t be watching.

It’s fascinating how we prefer the likes of NTV, NBS, channels that are targeting the middle class to which most of the population doesn’t belong.

NTV was the most watched station followed by NBS and Bukedde in a survey carriedout last year. Should it assumed that most of their viewership is ‘middle class.’

There is a lot of tolerence for fantasy or wishful thinking by most. Television is unreal by it’s nature. It’s a fictional representation of events much like movies.

The recent 70% local content has only localise the fictionality much like the effect of dubbing of most movies. Suprisingly, local movies are also dubbed.

Sadly more and more people continue to endulge and even flirt with whatever fanatsies aired on televisons every hour of the day.

My lyrics of the week


Viva La Vida – Coldplay

I used to rule the world
Seas would rise when I gave the word
Now in the morning I sleep alone
Sweep the streets I used to own

I used to roll the dice
Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes
Listened as the crowd would sing
Now the old king is dead long live the king
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
Missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
Once you’d gone there was never
Never an honest word
And that was when I ruled the world

It was a wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of
People couldn’t believe what I’d become
Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?

I hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
I know St Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Hear Jerusalem bells a-ringing
Roman cavalry choirs are singing
Be my mirror, my sword and shield
My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can’t explain
I know St Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world


Genesis 2017: What a normal day looks like in Uganda


You see when it comes to media and it’s business of condensing society’s intricate features into words, animations or carefully layed letters, getting it right eludes many and only a few ever capture it live and in HD. For those that do, it’s hard to stay consistent.

For many a people news finds them through television, radio, and print.

Of these, television tends to be popular and overhypes stories whilst delivering the latest developments instantly in the moment.

Radio is more like an mp3 player who’s selection is set by another party to serve their purpose and so is never completely under your control. But it does meet the expectation of being as news source at some point.

Print, under which Newspapers fall, is more authoritative for the reason that it features digested stories and so unlikely to miss out important details unless it’s intended. And that’s why I think print is far more reliable than other forms of news dissemination.

A negative to it is it’s lag in terms of delivery especially for a generation on steroids that finds comfort in being the first to know.

All media is subject to manipulation and will serve it’s masters purpose.

But what’s the catch especially when one can predict the near future with instant updates?

It’s a wild chase that only attempts to offer mental excitement and only offering more and even more options of what could be without zeroiung into anything exact.

Stories of the day, perhaps the week

Today, the stars seems to have aligned and painted a picture of what Uganda is like on a normal day. These are my best headlines for the day and maybe for the week. Have a look.

How reshuffle changes UPDF
The removal of Gen Edward Katumba Wamala as chief of defence forces has…

Speaker Kadaga calls Justice Kavuma court order ‘stupid’
In a surprise ruling on Monday, Justice Steven Kavuma ordered Parliament not…

Kadaga, URA’s Akol lock horns on Shs 6bn…
At about 3pm on Monday afternoon, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga drove into parliament…

Acholi MPs drag Besigye into Akena murder…
Because his wife Winnie Byanyima stood surety for both Matthew Kanyamunyu and…

KCCA runs out of cash, fails to pay…
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has said it is cash-strapped and may…

Ugandan road workers accuse Chinese bosses of low…
In interviews conducted between January 6 and 7, workers of China Railway…

It’s mere coincidence that they feature in The Observer of January 11 2017

Ten basic forms of fake news used by major media

cnn logo

The basic purpose of these ten forms is the presentation of a false picture of reality.

You could find more forms, or divide these ten into sub-categories.

The ten basic forms are:

* Direct lying about matters of fact.

* Leaving out vital information.

* Limited hangout. (This is an admission of a crime or a mistake, which only partially reveals the whole truth. The idea is that by admitting a fraction of what really happened and burying the biggest revelations, people will be satisfied and go away, and the story will never be covered again.)

* Shutting down the truth after publishing it includes failing to follow up and investigate a story more deeply.

* Not connecting dots between important pieces of data.

* Censoring the truth, wherever it is found (or calling it “fake news”).

* Using biased “experts” to present slanted or false “facts.”

* Repeating a false story many times—this includes the echo-chamber effect, in which a number of outlets “bounce” the false story among themselves.

* Claiming a reasonable and true consensus exists, when it doesn’t, when there are many important dissenters, who are shut out from offering their analysis.

* Employing a panoply of effects (reputation of the media outlet, voice quality of the anchor, acting skills, dry mechanical language, studio lighting, overlay of electronic transmissions, etc.) to create an impression of elevated authority which is beyond challenge.

These are all traditional forms and methods.

Here’s an example of a big story that deployed all ten forms of fake news: the Swine Flu pandemic of 2009.

In the spring of 2009, the World Health Organization ( elevated authority beyond challenge) announced that Swine Flu was a level-6 pandemic its highest category of “danger.” In fact, there were only 20 confirmed cases at the time ( direct lying about “danger”). And W.H.O. quietly changed the definition of “level-6” so widespread death and damage were no longer required ( another aspect of direct lying).

The story was, of course, picked up by major media outlets all over the world ( echo chamber effect, fake consensus, never connected dots re W.H.O. lies), and quite soon, Swine Flu case numbers rose into the thousands ( direct lying, as we’ll soon see).

Medical experts were brought in to bolster the claims of danger ( biased experts; important dissenters never given space to comment ).

In the early fall of 2009, Sharyl Attkisson, then a star investigative reporter for CBS News, published a story on the CBS News website. She indicated that the CDC had secretly stopped counting the number of Swine Flu cases in America. No other major news outlet reported this fact ( omitting vital information).

Attkisson discovered the reason the CDC had stopped counting: the overwhelming number of blood samples taken from the most likely Swine Flu patients were coming back from labs with: no trace of Swine Flu or any other kind of flu. Therefore, a gigantic hoax was revealed. The pandemic was a dud, a fake.

Despite Attkisson’s efforts, CBS never followed up on her story ( shutting down the truth after exposing it). Never probed the lying by the CDC (failure to connect dots). In a sense, CBS turned Attkisson’s story into a limited hangout— a further investigation would have uncovered acres of criminal behavior by both the CDC and the World Health Organization, to say nothing of the governments and media outlets that supported these lying agencies. The mainstream press essentially censored Attkisson’s revelations.

Then, about three weeks after CBS published Attkisson’s story, WebMD published a piece in which the CDC claimed that its own ( lying) estimate of 10,000 or so cases of Swine Flu in the US was a gross understatement. Truly, there were 22 MILLION cases of Swine Flu in the US (doubling down on lying). And that was that.

Which leads to an 11th form of fake news: if one lie doesn’t quite fly, tell a much bigger lie .

And these mainstream sources are currently shouting and bloviating about independent media spreading fake news. I guess you could call that number 12 : accusing their opponents of committing the crimes they are, in fact, committing .

This article appeared on Jon Rappoport’s blog.

Russia refuses to ratify Rome Statute as ICC ‘failed to become truly independent’ –

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree refusing to ratify the Rome Statute, the treaty which established the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Foreign Ministry said the ICC has not “lived up to expectations and failed to become a genuinely independent judicial body.”

The presidential decree, published on the official Russian legal information portal, orders the authorities “ to accept the proposal of the Justice Ministry of Russia, coordinated with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other federal bodies of executive power, with the Russian Supreme Court, the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation and the Russian Investigative Committee, [to send] the Secretary General of the United Nations a notice of the Russian Federation’s intention not to become party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. ”

The decree will come into force as soon as it is signed.

The Rome Statute, which entered into effect in 2002, is the basis of the activities of the ICC. It established four core international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

Moscow signed the treaty in 2000, but has not ratified it. ICC jurisdiction therefore does not apply to Russia, as well as the United States, China, Israel, Ukraine and a number of other countries.

The United States is not a party to the Rome Statute and does not plan to ratify it. However, the court recently published a report regarding its probe into alleged war crimes of US forces in. Afghanistan. Washington rejected the probe, calling it neither warranted nor appropriate and reminded the ICC that it was “ not a party to the Rome Statute” and therefore “had not consented to ICC jurisdiction.”

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow refused to ratify the ICC Statute because the International Criminal Court has not lived up to what was expected of it, especially in terms of it becoming a genuinely independent judicial body.

“Unfortunately the Court failed to meet the expectations to become a truly independent, authoritative international tribunal, ” the ministry said in a statement following the publication of the presidential decree.

“The work of the Court is characterized in a principled way as ineffective and one-sided in different fora, including the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is worth noting that during the 14 years of the Court’s work it passed only four sentences having spent over a billion dollars,” the statement said.

Initially, by signing the Rome Statute Russia expressed approval of the general idea of the ICC.

“The ICC as the first permanent body of international criminal justice inspired high hopes of the international community in the fight against impunity in the context of common efforts to maintain international peace and security, to settle ongoing conflicts and to prevent new tensions.

“Russia has consistently advocating prosecuting those responsible for the most serious international crimes. Our country was at the origins of the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, participated in the development of the basic documents on the fight against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. These were the reasons why Russia voted for the adoption of the Rome Statute and signed it. ”

However, there are a number of contradictions that exist between separate provisions of the statute and the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which is one of the reasons for Russia’s refusal to ratify the document. They include the mandatory transfer of investigated persons to the ICC, the application of the statute to heads of state and government figures, and the exceptions to the principle of “ne bis in idem,” which states that a person should not be judged twice for the same crime.

Apart from legal discrepancies, Russia has been disappointed by some ICC decisions, including the move to initiate an investigation into the conflict between South Ossetia and Georgia back in 2008. Back then, Georgian forces launched an artillery attack on the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinval. A Russian peacekeeper base and residential districts of the city came under fire, forcing then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to order a peace enforcement operation against Georgia.

Despite the fact that the European Commission investigated the conflict and declared that it was started by Georgia, labeling Tbilisi’s actions as unjustified, the ICC decided to open a probe into the conflict last year, focusing on the actions of South-Ossetians and Russian soldiers.

“The Russian Federation cannot be indifferent to the Court’s attitude vis-a-vis the situation of August 2008. The Saakashvili regime’s attack on peaceful Tskhinval, the assassination of the Russian peacekeepers resulted in the Court’s accusations against South-Ossetian militia and Russian soldiers.

Eventual investigation of actions and orders of Georgian officials was left to the discretion of the Georgian justice and remains outside of the focus of the ICC Prosecutor’s office attention. This development speaks for itself. We can hardly trust the ICC in such a situation,” the Foreign Ministry’s statement says.

On Monday, the ICC issued an annual report saying that “the available information suggests that the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia. ”