Uganda National Journalism Awards 2016 – The journey begins

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Every day the public in Uganda looks to the media for news on investment, information about their children’s education, investigations that hold the powerful to account, and solutions to persistent national problems. And every day, hundreds of journalists hit the streets of their towns to meet this demand and fulfill their mandate to inform, educate, entertain and spark debate on important public affairs issues.

The Uganda National Journalism Awards are presented annually to reward these journalists who work tirelessly, often in the face of great difficulty, political pressure and financial constraints. The Awards, managed by the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), represent the pinnacle of achievement for Ugandan journalists by recognizing exceptional reporting and showcasing outstanding work.

ACME, therefore, with pleasure announces the commencement of the Uganda National Journalism Awards 2016.

Since their inception three years ago, the Uganda National Journalism Awards have grown in both stature and nature. They have been expanded to encompass the changing character of the media industry, embracing both traditional reporting beats and emerging areas in data journalism, multimedia storytelling and innovation in the craft.

“The Uganda National Journalism Awards have gained traction quite quickly, becoming arguably the biggest media awards in East Africa,” says ACME executive director, Dr Peter G. Mwesige.

“ACME is honoured by the growing interest in the Awards and is priviledged to provide a platform on which first-rate, agenda-setting journalism in Uganda is heralded.”

This third edition of the Awards is open to all professional journalists working in Uganda. The Awards are intended to:

  • inspire young journalists to embrace enterprise and investigative journalism;
  • increase the quantity and quality of public affairs reporting and investigative journalism;
  • promote accurate, knowledgeable, enterprise and investigative reporting in all media;
  • advance innovation in storytelling and news presentation; and
  • increase the diversity of voices in media coverage.

Dr Mwesige says the ACME has received feedback from the media industry which confirms that while the Awards are still a young programme, their impact is growing steadily.

“Because of the Awards, journalists are consistently striving to improve the way they report on public affairs with an eye on winning the ‘ACME awards’, as they have come to be called,” he notes.

ACME is working with key players in the industry, the corporate world, private philanthropy and civil society to finance the 2016 Awards.

Awards categories

The Uganda National Journalism Awards 2016 will be given to excellent reporting in 20 categories. New to the list is education reporting, an essential beat that encompasses wide-ranging issues from education policy and public finance, to testing, school performance and teaching methodology. Other categories to be awarded are:

·         Arts and culture ·         Investigative reporting
·         Agriculture ·         Justice, law and order
·         Business, economy and finance ·         Health
·         Data journalism ·         Local reporting
·         Editorial cartooning ·         Multimedia storytelling
·         Energy, oil, gas and mining ·         National news reporting (two awards for best print and broadcast reports)
·         Environment ·         Photojournalism
·         Explanatory reporting ·         Political reporting
·         Feature writing ·         Sports

The judging process

An independent, expert 12-member panel will select winning entries based on accuracy, initiative, originality, clarity of interpretation, storytelling ability, public benefit, audience engagement, innovation, and writing and creative flair.

All submissions must have been published or broadcast in a Ugandan media outlet or a regional outlet with a substantial Ugandan audience during the 2015 calendar year. Web-based news organizations that follow a strict code of journalistic ethics and publish original reporting on a regular basis may also submit entries.

The prize

Both the winner and first runner-up of each category will receive a cash prize and a commemorative plaque and certificate. Their work will be celebrated at a grand gala to be held in 2016. Additionally, winning entries will be published online and in a booklet to be distributed by the ACME.

Key dates for the Uganda National Journalism Awards 2016

  • Entries open: 20 October, 2015
  • Entries close: 20 January, 2016
  • Judging process: 25 January – 25 February, 2016
  • Awards gala: March 2016

Frequently asked questions:

Please read our Rules and Guidelines page for answers to frequently asked questions.

Peruse our Categories page for more information on which category to enter your submission.


Previous recipients

Visit our website to read the winning entries of the 2015 awards.


For more information, write to and visit the awards page at


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