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Conversation with Culton Scovia

Meet Culton Scovia, a broadcast journalist from Uganda whose pitch on African Free Movement earned her one of the highly coveted AWIM Awards with a grant of $2000. In this edition of AWIM Spotlight, Culton shares the story behind THE story.

Please tell us about yourself

I am a broadcast journalist, currently working with BBS TV- Uganda. I previously worked for NTV-Uganda, Red Pepper and CBS FM.
I am a 2019 Fellow African Women in Media, 2019 fellow Women In News and a 2019 African Union, International Organization for Migration Award winner, Free Movement of People in Africa.

I believe in solution journalism because Society needs information to change. Just like individuals, if you are constantly getting negative feedback, you are not very motivated to improve yourself. Therefore, Solution journalism can surface very important knowledge about what is happening in communities and show how people are responding to problems, in a way that other people can learn from it and possibly replicate the responses and these solutions.

You are a Reporter/Videographer. Tell us how this affects how you process information and present your thoughts as a journalist.

As a reporter, I have overall responsibility for any story. I take charge of planning and provide guidance to my videographer on appropriate videos, scripting.

Who gave you your first opportunity to flourish?

Williams Kato the assignments editor at NTV-Uganda helped me flourish in my career. He believed in me and showed me the right path.

How important is data to journalism?

Data Journalism is the next big thing after investigative journalism. Analyzing figures and putting them into context a step every journalist should take. Since my science reporting fellowship with the African Center For Media Excellence in 2017, I can no longer do a story without figures. As a broadcast journalist, I’ve noticed how powerful figures are in a story. People follow easily because the story is deeply analyzed and a deeper insight is provided. Also with data, its easy to speak truth to power because the evidence is available.

Please share the relationship between your background, nationality and choice of stories

My area of focus in journalism has a great attachment to my background. My education was supported by SOS Children’s Villages Uganda. This drove my passion for impactful journalism. I made a personal choice to run away from “He says, She says” journalism and focused on ideas that can drive a good agenda and create great impact. I explore local governments’ work, social services provision and social justice issues concerning vulnerable and minority groups like; the youth, women and persons with disabilities. I believe the development agenda is hinged on how well these issues are managed.

My recent project, a seven-part story named “OBULAMU BWA KIGGALA” (TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A UGANDAN DEAF), impacted on lives.

Culton receives her plaque from the African Union (AU) Commission’s Head of Communication, Ms. Wynne Musabayana

You won an award for your pitch at the AWIM Conference. Can you share the story behind your story(why you pitched your topic) and what this means for your professional journey

My story pitch was as a result of curiosity about Uganda’s relationship with South Sudan. Since 2005, Ugandans found a new market for both their goods and labor export. Movement became easier as more people went in and out for businesses. Ugandan traders found it easier to export their goods including agro-products. My sister-in-law is one of these. She passed on the skills to south Sudanese. When the war started in 2013, she pulled out for safety but her friends in South Sudan picked from where she stopped. The Ugandan government started cutting down on restrictions to facilitate trade between the two countries.

If you had your way, what policy would you push and what result do you hope to get out of it?

I would push for a one Africa Visa, just like the Schengen Visa for Europe. African countries need to strip off many of the conditions and restrictions to allow movement. Besides fears of a return to their home countries, migration facilitates the transfer of skills, manpower, and innovations. As an individual, I would hope to see more people coming to Uganda and more Ugandans migrating for investment.

What were your expectations before AWIM 19 and how have these expectations been met?

I dreamt of a life-changing experience at AWiM19. I met motivating and inspiring women. From keynote speakers to attendees. I was greatly inspired to do better in changing the African narrative.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

By the grace of God. I will be an Icon in my country, Changing the narrative, creating more impact.

Final Words

I extend my gratitude to Dr. Yemisi Akinbobola for dreaming and put this dream to reality. AWIM is a platform that enables women to lift others. Indeed, a candle loses nothing by lighting another one. Together, we will change the narrative.

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DR. YEMISI AKINBOBOLA

C.E.O & Co-founder, AWiM

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola is an award-winning journalist, academic, consultant and co-founder of African Women in Media (AWiM). AWiM’s vision is that one-day African women will have equal access to representation in media. Joint winner of the CNN African Journalist Award 2016 (Sports Reporting), Yemisi ran her news website IQ4News between 2010-14.
Yemisi holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies from Birmingham City University, where she is a Senior Lecturer. She has published scholarly research on women’s rights, African feminism, and journalism and digital public spheres. She was Editorial Consultant for the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 commemorative book titled “She Stands for Peace: 20 Years, 20 Journeys”, and currently hosts the book’s podcast.
She speaks regularly on issues relating to gender and media. In 2021 she was recognized as one of 100 Most Influential African Women.