Reporters on the Job

Meet the Veejay: Reporter Rachel Scheier was well aware of the "video halls" - low-budget cinemas where VCRs played movies on TVs - throughout Uganda's remote villages and dusty trading centers. But with the recent arrival of DVDs, the fame of the VeeJays, or video jockeys, has grown.

"In Kampala, everyone knows [VeeJay] Jingo. At first, he didn't understand why I would be interested to know about the changes to the plot, and the local references that were peppered throughout each movie," says Rachel. "Eventually, he told me about working in at least half-a-dozen references to a Ugandan opposition leader, who had just lost the presidential election, into a banal thriller about an airline pilot. He was reluctant because he figured I would criticize his changes."

Later, Rachel went to Jingo's trading center to see him veejay live. "I took along an interpreter to translate his interpretation back to me in English. It took a while, but I finally got it. Veejaying isn't really about translation; it's about making something completely new, something uniquely Ugandan."

Survey says ...

Civility Behind the Wheel: In a 2003 Gallup poll, the French rated themselves as Europe's most aggressive drivers, with about 60 percent of French motorists surveyed confessing to being discourteous drivers. In a separate poll in February, nine out of 10 French people said they had a hard time crossing the street - even in crosswalks.

The solution, reports the Associated Press: The Ministry of Transport launched a media campaign this week admonishing drivers to "stay Zen at the wheel" and respect the 90-kilometer (55-mile) per hour speed limit.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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