Homophobia as a barrier to comprehensive media coverage of the ugandan anti-homosexual bill.

Published: April 1, 2012

Abstract

The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill of October 2009 caused an international outcry and sparked intense debate in the local media. This article explores to what degree a discriminatory social environment manifests itself in the Ugandan print media and discusses the potential implications for media’s coverage of contentious policy options such as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. A content analysis of 115 items from two daily newspapers (the government-owned New Vision and the privately owned the Daily Monitor, between October and December 2009) indicates the existence of two separate house styles; this is in spite of the fact that both newspapers reproduce the surrounding society’s homophobia, albeit with different frequency. Unlike the New Vision, the Daily Monitor includes coverage on homophobia and discrimination, as well as provides space for criticism of the Bill. By acknowledging discrimination and its negative impact, the newspaper de-legitimizes homophobia and problematizes the proposed Anti-homosexuality Bill for their readers.

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