The 2021 national lockdown that kicked off on June 17 has been uniquely challenging for many newsrooms including NBS TV.
Dalton Kaweesa, the head of news at NBS TV, says, “”COVID-19 has indeed affected my team because now most of them work in shifts and others work from home.”
He says this is particularly challenging because, “News is a collaborative business. The producer and the reporter need to see each other, be in touch, exchange ideas all the time. The lockdown has made this harder.”
Kaweesa asserts, “But regardless we are committed to deliver to Ugandans and the world as expected and we are not looking behind.Our delivery is still the same but of course environment at office is not the same. We work around the challenges because challenges can never stop a committed journalist from doing their work.”
For the time being, Kaweesa often finds himself looking over a sparsely populated newsroom that during “normal times” was a hive of activity. He misses the banter, jokes and thrill of bouncing ideas off colleagues while chasing a hot story.
He firmly believes, “This pandemic will come to an end and we will come back stronger than even before.”
James Ssewaya, a brand designer at Next Media Services, has been forced by the lockdown to have two offices. He says he loves working from Next Media Park where NBS TV is situated.
He finds the environment at Next Media Park, “Exciting. When you are working from office, there is a way you have so much energy. I think it is because of being with many people who are all working towards a common goal. There are deadlines but you easily beat them.”
Working from home, as per the shift system, has been a new experience for Ssewaya. He acknowledges, “COVID-19 has indeed affected our workflow because we now have to work remotely off the office premises. These external environments come with less pressure and energy. We have created a “office-like” environment in our homes to keep delivering in our tasks.”
Ssewaya is grateful that he could already work from wherever circumstances found him. The lockdown expected to come to an end on July 31, after 42 days, has reinforced a trait he had cultivated as he started his career.