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Follow the Beat: The Use of Digital Media for Youth-Oriented News in Uganda

This article is an ethnographic account of the production of a weekly television program that uses a hip-hop format to deliver the news to youth audiences in Uganda. It demonstrates the manner in which a revolution in digital technologies has democratized production, allowing unconventional mediamakers to communicate with new audiences through innovative formats. It also suggests that the darkside of digital democratization is a deepening digital divide, particularly in developing nations, where there are severe disparities in access to the mediums of reception. This includes not only hardware and software, but electricity itself. Lastly, it explores the manner in which edutainment programming can use informal media and ambient screens to create parallel broadcast networks, sidestepping censorship while also reaching broader audiences though last mile media.

Falzone, P. Follow the beat: The use of digital media for youth-oriented news in Uganda. In Messaris, P. & Humphreys, L. (2017). Digital media: transformations in human communication 2nd ed. New York: Peter Lang.