Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Digital Journalism (MADJ)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Emilly Comfort Maractho


Graduate School of Media and Communications


News production in the legacy media houses occurs in enclosed spaces. Editors, reporters, sub-editors, and news producers discuss and develop story ideas for production and dissemination on television, radio and print platforms. However, the Covid-19 pandemic presented a significant change in the traditional operation of the newsroom. This disruption interfered with the journalistic norms of story ideation, news sourcing, gatekeeping and distribution. Local and regional media organisations struggled through the Covid-19 pandemic because technological adoption mechanisms had long been dragged. By the time the pandemic hit Ugandan newsrooms, most media houses lacked fall-back plans, which led to several changes such as salary cuts, working in shifts, working from home, and downsizing. This study examined the nature of COVID-19 disruptions, their impact, and the coping strategies used by Next Media Services to deal with the interruption. This study used the Media Economics Theory to investigate the challenges and strategic mechanisms that this media house employed to remain viable in the industry. This research adopted a qualitative approach and a case study design with 19 journalists as the sample size. The study established that news consumers developed an urgency of staying informed, leading to increased consumption of digital news, especially in the digital age.The study established that the newsroom was the most affected department at Next Media Services. The researcher interviewed a series of staff, including 12 journalists and seven team members drawn from the marketing and sales department. The findings from the study also indicate that planning and story ideation meetings that were conducted daily were now adjusted to three times a week because journalists and editors were not meeting physically. Additionally, as the Covid-19 pandemic spread in the other parts of the world, audiences depended more on the online platforms for news and information updates.