Uganda is not the biggest country in the world at some 241,038 sq km, but its population of nearly 24 million is able to read their newspapers in at least any of the five different languages, of which English is the most popular. There are various Ugandan newspapers published in the country and some exist in various languages outside English. The following is a list of the Top 10 Most Visited Newspapers on the Internet in Uganda, the papers are published in English unless otherwise specified.
Newspapers in Uganda
1. The Daily Monitor
The Daily Monitor is easily the top newspaper in Uganda and, as with most of these papers, it is based in the capital, Kampala. Originally called The Monitor, then renamed The Daily Monitor in 2005, it includes one of the most quirkily-named magazines around, an entertainment weekly called ‘Sqoop’, which claims that it’s totally private ownership. This enables it to be the only independent newspaper in Uganda. The online web portal of The Daily Monitor is www.monitor.co.ug
2. New Vision
Not far behind is the widely-read New Vision, the flagship English-language paper of the Vision Group, also based in Kampala. The group owns a number of other papers, along with radio and TV stations and various other multimedia businesses. Started in 1986, New Vision celebrated 25 years in the publishing world in 2011 and recently hit the headlines in its own right when it announced a campaign of zero tolerance to corruption following the disconcerting discovery that it was not as immune to this problem as it had hoped. www.newvision.co.ug
Only established in 2004, the twice-weekly Observer is a relative newcomer, but it has wasted no time in establishing itself as one of the top papers in Uganda. It comes out on Mondays and Thursdays and its offices are also in Kampala. www.observer.ug
4. East African Business Week
Another relative newcomer, the weekly East African Business Week won an award for the Best Business Newspaper of the Year in its first year of operation, 2005/6 – not a bad start! It has several offices in East Africa, but their Ugandan base is in Kampala and their web presence is the cleverly named: www.busiweek.com.
5. Sunday Vision
The Vision group’s weekly English language paper is the leading weekly paper in Uganda. Based in Kampala. It delivers weekly important news updates from across the country.
The Bukedde and its sister paper, the Bukedde ku Ssande (number 9 in this list), are published in the Ganda language and are the only non-English ones on this list of Ugandan newspapers based in Kampala. They also belong to the Vision Group. If you are interested in checking out this Ugandan newspaper, you can access some of its contents on the internet at www.bukedde.co.ug
The Vision Group is one of the most successful media groups in Uganda and manages the Rupiny. The Acoli language paper is based out of Lira. Its web presence at www.rupiny.co.ug is not so much a web version of the newspaper as a PDF of the pages of the paper version, made available online.
The new Vision is a multimedia business housing newspaper, magazines, internet publishing, television, radio broadcasting, commercial printing, advertising and distribution services. NVPPCL is listed on the Uganda Stock Exchange. Etop is published in Teso language and operates out of Soroti. It is made available online in the same way as Rupiny, as a PDF of the paper version.
9. Bukedde ku Ssande
The Kampala office is the home of this Ganda language paper, which like Bukedde itself (number 6 above), is owned by the Vision Group. Their website’s address is given as www.bukeddekussande.co.ug
The Vision Group’s Nyankole language newspaper is based in Mbarara and, like its sister publications, Rupiny and Etop, it is made available in the form of a PDF of the paper.
Other Ugandan Newspapers for Current News
Other popular daily papers in Uganda, both English language and with offices in Kampala, are The East African (www.theeastafrican.co.ke) and The Independent (www.independent.co.ug). They miss out on positions in the list above only by a marginal amount, so are worth mentioning anyway.
Finally, following the modern trend for all things online to take over from the physical equivalents, there are a number of Ugandan newspapers/news companies that don’t have paper versions. Two, in particular, are by far the most popular of these – in fact, rival the Daily Monitor and New Vision in numbers of visits to their websites – and they are Red Pepper and Uganda Picks.