Award winning Ugandan journalist Barbara Angopa is an inspiration for all Ugandan girls looking to join the field.
I could write about her many inspiring stories on Karamoja, when she worked for NTVU, but that would be to live in the past.
Ambitious, passionate and emotive, I just had to share this special journalist with you, one I consider a Ugandan ambassador.
Did you always want to be a journalist?
I always wanted to write, not necessarily to be a journalist. I still harbour dreams of writing fiction and have something in the works, though whether it is published is another matter.
What has your journey been like?
It’s been a strange journey. I couldn’t afford to work for free at newspapers etc which is normally the way many people break into journalism. So I ended up working in the City for a while.
Then worked as a researcher at a BBC World Service Trust and then worked as a stringer in Uganda for a while. My first proper job filing everyday was for NTV Uganda. Then I run my own documentary film business for a year before working for Al Jazeera as a producer.
Some people get into media for the fame, why did you get into journalism?
I became a journalist because I like to write and because I’m super nosy and like to find all type of things out. When I meet someone, I’m always interested by what they are hiding. Bad habit I know, but sometimes you come across some great stories. Not that all of them can be published….
Has the newsroom changed quite a lot since the advent of social media, how has this affected the way you work?
Social media totally changed news. E.g Twitter. Anything a newsmaker tweets can go viral in seconds and lead to a big splash. I totally use it now and follow people who interest me. Sometimes it can lead to a story away from the usual beat.
What do you consider your most successful report?
I am still working on my best report but I enjoy anything to do with post-conflict reporting and arts and culture reports.
Doomsayers claim there is no future for journalism, is this true in your opinion? And what is the future of journalism?
Journalism has totally changed. You just have to look at the number of newspapers closing down around the world to see that. I think how it will affect the industry hasn’t been decided. Newspapers were good because of the filtering system the best publications had, ditto tv newsrooms etc.
I don’t know whether youtube channels, blogs, twitter etc have the same training to examine the information they are given. But on the plus side many niche audiences, e.g fashion news, or celeb news etc get the stories they like to read about more easily.
What is your favourite quote?
Life is hard so I find any quotes about endurance really inspiring. Especially if it’s in a pop song. The last lyric that moved me was “If you’re going through hell, keep going” by The Streets. I was going through a difficult stage in my life and every time I heard this song it really picked me up.