Sunday, May 1, 2011

Headlines matter

Sunday Vision is a government-owned newspaper - as are almost all the FM radio stations by which most Ugandans learn about current affairs in their country.  An amusing activity if you have a few minutes to spare, is to compare the news in the independent press with the news in Sunday Vision or New Vision, its daily counterpart.  It is not always the same.

However, today, the contrast was between two versions of the same newspaper.  The huge front page headline in the print version of Sunday Vision was RIOTERS TO FACE FIRE - MUSEVENI, a clear visual message shouting at local Ugandan readers from newstands and breakfast tables.  It refers to tomorrow's planned walk-to-work, an ingenious form of  protest which has even reached the ears of newspaper readers in the west.  The clear implication is that anyone going on the walk (in Uganda the word 'protest' is apparently deemed to be synonymous with the word 'riot') will be shot at, as they have been before.

Interestingly, the online version of the Sunday Vision, read by overseas readers, has a different front page headline: RIOTS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED, milder words taken from an inside article.  I leave it up to you, my blog readers, to think about why the headlines might be different.

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