The night before Uganda’s February 18 presidential vote, David Tumusiime went to bed with a firm plan in place for the next day’s coverage. The website editor for Uganda Radio Network, a syndicate of more than 20 correspondents spread across the East African country, Tumusiime had set up a WhatsApp group to collect video clips and audio reports from his team. Then he would use URN’s Facebook page and Twitter feed to share that information with the news organization’s thousands of followers.
But there was a hitch. When he woke up on Election Day, someone had turned off the country’s social media.