Former Vision group journalists who were laid off when the group shut down Etop Newspaper have started a weekly Ateso Newspaper called Aicerit.
Aicerit, which literally means star in Ateso hit the streets of Soroti city and other towns on Wednesday morning. It comes five months after the Vision group stormed the publication of Etop, the only Ateso and all subsequently laid off all staff in May 2020.
The affected journalists teamed up with their colleagues in June to start Aicerit publication. The long-awaited newspaper came with an analysis of the NRM Parliamentary primaries as its lead story and was bought off the streets by midday.
James Odongo Akia, one of the Directors of Aicerit Newspaper, says that the closure of Etop Newspaper gave them an opportunity to sit down and settle for the establishment of the newspaper.
With a team of seven other journalists, Akia says they are determined to ensure that Aicerit Newspaper keeps Ateso language alive as it champions development in the region.
Emmanuel Opio, the Company’s Acting Secretary says Aicerit will explore different news segments that will help redeem Iteso from the current poverty levels, where the region is ranked among the second poorest in the country.
He explains that most of the people are swimming in poverty because of inadequate information and guidance in society, the gap he notes will be bridged by the newspaper.
Juliet Asege, a resident of Pamba ward in Soroti and one of the first persons to read Aicerit’s first edition says she is impressed with the analysis in the paper.
“My only hope is that the paper doesn’t become a rubber stamp for evildoers in the region. I expect the paper to be independent and reliable to help readers make informed decisions. It is political time and I hope it will continue to provide analysis for people to choose good leaders”, she said.
Aicerit comes about four years since Red Pepper Publication closed “Emulalu”, another Ateso Newspaper that hit the region in 2016. Emulalu didn’t live to see its first birthday.