Date of Award
Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)
Graduate School of Media and Communications
Journalism, just like any other institution in society has been tainted with acts of corruption and bribery or what is scholarly known as Brown Envelope Journalism (BEJ). The practice takes shape in form of cash, gifts/ freebies, and incentives, given to a journalist to influence the reportage of news. This has affected the quality of news and undermined fundamental journalistic principles. Anchored on McQuail’s theory of Media and Society and the Social Responsibility Theory of the Press, this study sought to examine journalists and PR practitioners’ perceptions of BEJ and what the industry can employ to address the vice The researcher used the mixed-method approach and administered two questionnaires to 180 respondents made up of 94 journalists and 86 PR practitioners working in Kampala and registered to the Uganda Journalists Association and the Public Relations Association of Uganda while 6 PR and journalism experts were interviewed as key informants. The study found that although journalists and PR practitioners perceive the BEJ as unethical, they are complaisant with the practice. It also found money to be the dominant form of BEJ in Uganda with poor pay and the lack of facilitation as the dominating factors that have caused the prevalence of vice in the country. The study concluded that the eradication of BEJ from the Ugandan media landscape is viable but will rely solely on a combined effort by media houses, media associations and the government to deal with it. The study recommends an improvement in the welfare of journalists and the formation of a functional regulatory framework and body to oversee the practice of journalism. It suggests that future investigations consider examining the phenomena using the ethnography approach to ensure a complete understanding of the phenomena and the ways to stop it from the respondents’ lived experiences.
Lamwaka, Sandra. (2022). Towards a news industry framework for tackling the vice of brown envelope journalism: perceptions of journalists and public relations practitioners in Uganda (Unpublished Masters Thesis). Aga Khan University. Graduate School of Media & Communications