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The writhing effect of restructuring – a tale of pain and hope

Ms Lanyero Christine

By Ajok Diana

Coronavirus disease, covid-19 has brought with it disruptions and affected the media fraternity just like other sectors of the economy globally.

To some companies and organisations, restructuring was a way to cut costs while others tried all they could to manage their staffing to stay afloat.

Ms Lanyero Christine was one among the unspecified number of field female journalists affected by the restructuring in the media industry in Uganda. She was stopped from working at her radio station on February 17, 2021.

“In the amidst of the Covid 19 pandemic in February 2021 at around 1:00pm, I was called to a meeting I knew nothing about. I was told by the management to exit (leave work) and that they would compile the 17days of work done and pay me at the end of the month. They told me that there was no space (position) for me, ‘Ms Lanyero recalls with a brief pose to recollect herself.

Ms Lanyero has vivid memories of the date and time when she was called into the meeting room at the radio station and was verbally told that she had been terminated. Shocked, she demanded to know why. But to the best of her knowledge, she was a victim of circumstance including the covid-19 restructuring plans.

“I was shocked because I had never been restructured from a job all my life,” Ms Lanyero tells FEMJOF-Uganda.

To date, she still struggles to find her footing as a freelance field female journalist. Her dream is to venture into multimedia journalism to enhance her skills to tell stories beyond her region. To support her family as she settles down, former colleagues contributed money that she used to start up a mini produce store selling grains to meet her daily needs.

Ms Lanyero says she will do whatever it takes to improve from her current skills in radio to become a multimedia journalists through attending trainings and short courses to reconnect with other field journalists and tap into opportunities beyond her current reach.

Ms Lanyero worked in various radio stations including Gulu FM, Radio Rupiny and Rupiny newspaper, under Vision Group before joining Mega FM in 2016. Her fans used to contact her on social media appreciating her work as a news anchor and presenter.

Ms Lanyero misses the bond and blending with her listeners but has chosen to move on with life and grow in a new area within the journalism space.

“I always deceived my listeners that am on leave. To others I said I was back at school so could not balance my work plus school. It (being restructured) has been paining me for so long, but I had to let go and move on,’’ says Ms Lanyero.

Currently, she is operating a mini produce store in Olayilong market opposite Don patrol station in Gulu City.

“Female journalist forum -Uganda (FEMJOM) pulled me from where I was buried (emotionally) and has given me courage to never give up no matter what happened in life or the situation I may be in,” Ms Lanyero says with a smile on her face.

She is learning how to operate a video camera, something she says she was not able to do as a radio journalist who invested her time in the audio and print world only.

She urged all field female journalists in Northern Uganda that she refers to as women of substance to embrace multimedia skills and invest in knowledge to remain relevant in the journalism industry.

Post Author: admin

We empower. Change Narratives. Sustain
Female Journalists Forum – Uganda (FEMJOF-UGANDA) is a not-for-profit Community Based Organisation run by a group of female journalists in Gulu, Northern Uganda. We train, mentor, coach and counsel female journalists to change the narratives and become tomorrow’s great journalism leaders.

The idea to have a female media organization was established in 2019 when a group of about ten female journalists based in Gulu met and realized the shrinking number of female field journalists and the need to encourage female journalism students to join the newsroom with a purpose.

This dream to have a network and support system of female journalists based in Gulu was realized in 2021 when the organization was officially registered to not only bring together female journalists but advocate for a better working environment for female journalists, TRAIN , mentor, coach and counsel those that need a hand to reach their destiny.

In this, we envisaged better representation of women and female journalists in the media through a broad based approach to storytelling hence changing the traditional narratives of what and who a female journalist is. Currently, we have more than twenty members at different media houses and our mentorship programme at journalism institutions of learning is a step towards increasing this number in the newsrooms.

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