Uganda National Journalism Awards 2021 shortlist released

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African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) is pleased to announce a shortlist of finalists of the Uganda National Journalism Awards 2021.

The awards, organised by ACME since 2014, celebrate and promote exceptional, in-depth and enterprising journalism that informs public debate and holds the powerful to account. They are open to all journalists working for media outlets in Uganda or regional media houses with wide circulation and significant audience reach in the country.

This year, the Uganda National Journalism Awards ceremony was delayed due to a series of unforeseen events.

“We regret that we couldn’t hold the awards gala earlier this year as we had anticipated,” says Dr Peter G. Mwesige, ACME’s Executive Director. “This was due to challenges, including the Covid-19 pandemic, that were beyond our control.”

He added: “We are happy to have finally devised means to hold this event. This remains the premier journalism awards scheme in the country. We are grateful for the support from all those who have made this possible.”

147 journalists participated in the awards, up from 123 the previous year. About one third of the participating journalists are based in towns and cities outside Kampala.

217 entries for competition in 20 reporting categories. A panel of 13 judges drawn from the media, academia and public communications adjudicated the entries. The members of the panel are:

  • Mr Benon Herbert Oluka – Editor, Global Investigative Journalism Network Africa
  • Dr Emily Maractho – Head of Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Uganda Christian University
  • Ms Evelyn Kiapi – Communications and public relations specialist
  • Mr John Baptist Wasswa – Media development and communication specialist
  • Ms Laura Walusimbi – Corporate Communications Manager, Uganda Coffee Development Authority
  • Ms Lydia Namubiru – Digital and data journalism specialist
  • Ms Patience Atuhaire – Senior Broadcast Journalist at BBC News
  • Mr Paul Kimumwe – Senior Programme Officer, CIPESA
  • Ms Rose Mary Kemigisha – Senior Human Rights Officer/Editor, Uganda Human Rights Commission
  • Mr Richard Kavuma – Communications specialist
  • Dr Sara Namusoga-Kaale – Lecturer, Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University
  • Mr Simon Kaheru – Public Affairs and Communications Director, Coca-Cola Beverages
  • Dr Wairagala Wakabi – Executive Director, CIPESA

This year’s winners will be announced at an event to be held in mid-December.


This is a shortlist of the top scoring entries for each of the reporting categories. The names of the participating journalists are listed alphabetically, not in order of score.

AGRICULTURE John Okeya, The Cooperator Magazine – Post-harvest handling: What do farmers need to know?
Julius Odeke, Transformation Magazine – Farmers in Teso paradise of oranges agonise over glut
Paul Murungi, Daily Monitor – Pearl Dairy dilemma: Farmers stare at a bleak future
Stuart Twinomujuni, Urban TV – Fighting unemployment using banana fingers
ARTS Daniel Lutaaya & Thomas Kitimbo, NBS Television – Party after party in the lockdown
Frank Walusimbi, NTV Uganda – The impact of Covid-19 on the arts
John Vianney Nsimbe, The Observer – How Philly Lutaaya became the Grinch that stole his children’ Christmas
Joseph Sabiti, NBS Television – Arts and politics
BUSINESS, FINANCE & ECONOMY George Katongole, Daily Monitor – A fish business born out of lockdown blues
Lydia Nabakooza, Sswaliki Ssali & Hassan Wasswa, NBS Television – The Kenya-Uganda trade war
Patricia Akankwatsa, The Independent – Coronavirus catastrophe
Paul Murungi, Daily Monitor –  What can Uganda do with her milk surplus?
Robert Atuhairwe, New Vision – Oil industry: FID delay hits local companies hard
DATA JOURNALISM Blanshe Musinguzi & Stanley Ebele, Uganda Radio Network – Between indecisiveness and thumbprint lies
Jonan Tusingwire & Felix Basiime, InfoNile – Karangura: Caught between the dual danger of Covid-19 and a water crisis
Martin Luther Oketch, Daily Monitor – How Covid-19 has hit financial markets
Nobert Atukunda, Daily Monitor – Covid data contradicts EC campaign freeze claims
EDUCATION Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – Okusoma mu muggalo
Damali Muhakye, Daily Monitor – Makerere University gowns crisis
Sam Ogwal Alero, Voice of Lango – Covid-19 edutele learning
Isaac Khisa, The Independent – Covid-19 complicates education
ENERGY & EXTRACTIVES Dennis Sigoa, UBC Television – Mwelo Rock land acquisition saga
Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Concerns raised over the crude oil pipeline
Lydia Nabakooza, Sswaliki Ssali & Hassan Wasswa, NBS Television – The rich but poor Kilembe mines
Samuel Sanya, New Vision – Mbkumbku to give way for Nyagak III works
ENVIRONMENT Franklin Ezaruku Draku, Daily Monitor – Lake Victoria pollution series
Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Save Bugoma Forest series
Henry Okurut, UBC Television – Homeless creatures: UWA stuck with 1000 wild birds at Parliament
Mark Arnold Wadulo, UBC Television – Human-wildlife conflict resolution in national tourism parks
EXPLANATORY REPORTING Canary Mugume, NBS Television – Ivory Tower in flames – What happened that day?
Dennis Sigoa, UBC Television – Uganda’s iconic buildings, sites and monuments under threat
Nobert Atukunda & Isaac Mufumba, Daily Monitor – Money spent in the name of coronavirus
Robert Atuhairwe, New Vision – Chimp attacks worry Hoima residents
FEATURES Christopher Oola, Mega FM – Fate of children born in LRA captivity
Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – Underrepresentation? What has changed about disability and politics
Irene Abalo Otto, Daily Monitor – Scars of the LRA war series
Kalungi Kabuye, New Vision – Covid-19 lockdown – Will the slay generation survive?
HEALTH Agnes Kyotalengerire & Ritah Mukasa, New Vision – Blood shortage
Benard Yiga, UBC Television – Safe births amidst Covid-19: Celebrating midwives saving lives of mothers and babies
Betty Amamukirori & Violet Nabatanzi, New Vision – Mulago doctors explain first successful Siamese operation
Daniel Lutaaya & Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – 15 days with Covid
David Mafabi, PML Daily – Postpartum hemorrhage, leading cause of maternal mortality
Michael Wambi, Uganda Radio Network – Preeclampsia: The silent but dangerous women and neonatal killer in Uganda
INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING Daniel Lutaaya & Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – The Milkshake: Inside a gang of extortionists
Halima Abdallah Kisule, Daily Monitor – Inside Uganda’s complex gold trade
Irene Abalo Otto, Daily Monitor – Alleged sexual abuse of deaf girls puts officials on spot
Solomon Serwanjja & Joshua Mujjunga, NBS Television – The ayes have it
JUSTICE, LAW & ORDER Carol Kasujja, Joseph Makumbi & Michael Odeng, New Vision – City pastor cited in baby swap (serial)
Jamila Mulindwa, NBS Television – Obuliisa maanyi e Rukungiri
Lillian Namusoke Magezi, New Vision – How Covid-19 affected women in Uganda
Sabir Musa, Radio Pacis – Jennifer seeking justice months after beating by security guard (series)
LOCAL REPORTING Eddy Olwa, NBS Television – Lira-Kamdini Road a nightmare
Herbert Kamoga, NTV Uganda – Domestic violence: Nakaseke mother of 7 sleeping in the cold with her children
John Dibaba, Radio Pacis – How the Nurse of the Year 2020 rose to the limelight
John Okot & Jesse Muto, NUMEC – Gulu’s eco-entrepreneurs melt plastic waste into low-cost coronavirus face shields
Sabir Musa, Radio Pacis – The impact of rock blasting activity by Dott Services Limited on the community in Oluko sub-county
NATIONAL NEWS – BROADCAST Benjamin Jumbe, KFM – Defilement report (series)
Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – Porous borders: Can Uganda survive the Covid-19 pandemic?
Godfrey Badebye & Daniel Lutaaya, NBS Television – The hands that fed us
Samuel Ssenono, UBC Television – Detecting Uganda’s first Covid-19 case
NATIONAL NEWS – PRINT Carol Kasujja & Umar Nsubuga, New Vision – MAK fire: Why police should not burn alone
Franklin Ezaruku Draku, Daily Monitor – Covid-19 promises: What went wrong with implementation
Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Lake Victoria under threat as key city drainage wetland is invaded
Ian Katusiime, The Independent – Museveni action on army shootings
NEWS ILLUSTRATION Walter Mwesigye, NTV Uganda – River Nyamwamba bursts banks, forces Kilembe Hospital evacuation
PHOTO & VIDEO JOURNALISM Abubaker Lubowa, Daily Monitor –  Drawing the lines
Nicholas Bamulanzeki, The Observer – Ugly side of the Pearl of Africa
Collins Rukundo, Songa Stone Mwesigwa & Victor Opira, Storyteld – We flew a drone over a locked down Kampala in the middle of the day and this is what we saw
Stuart Yiga, Bukedde – On the campaign trail with Patrick Oboi Amuriat
POLITICS Benard Yiga, UBC Television – The impact of Kyagulanyi and the People Power wave on Uganda’s politics
Christopher Oola, Mega FM – Voter bribery in Acholi sub-region
Paul Kayonga, NBS Television – Gang of 7
Paul Kayonga & Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – The NUP dilemma
PUBLIC WORKS & INFRASTRUCTURE Canary Mugume, NBS Television – Uganda’s infrastructure crisis
Samuel Sanya & Shamim Saad, New Vision – Kampala flyover construction: Project expanded, to take longer
Simon Ssemazzi, Urban TV – Uganda gets first Airbus
SPORTS Baker Lwesabula, BBS Terefayina – Omuzibe azannya ebikonde
Javier Silas Omagor, Step FM – Mbale’s rotting cricket talent
Olivia Nakate, Urban TV – Female athletes and menstruation: The unspoken battle among female athletes
Solomon Ssaka, NBS Television –  Wonder kid


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