The 18 competition categories of the Uganda National Journalism Awards 2023 come under two segments as follows:
- 2 institutional awards for media transformation and innovation
- 16 thematic awards for coverage of specific subjects
Carefully review each category description in preparation for the submission of an entry. Do also review the eligibility rules and submission guidelines for information on submitting entries for the competition.
If you need further clarification on the awards, please write to awards[at]acme-ug.org with the subject: ‘‘UNJA 2023 inquiries’.
The institutional awards will be given to media houses, not individual journalists or media practitioners. Judging will be based on criteria including, but not limited to:
- Creativity of an idea
- Processes and execution
- Results and impact
- Sustainability and replication
Entries must be submitted using the UNJA 2023 institutional submission form.
Two awards will be given per category based on the size of the participating newsroom or news/current affairs outlet:
- Small to medium size: fewer than 20 full-time news/editorial staff
- Large size: 20 or more full-time news/editorial staff
- Newsroom and editorial transformation award
This award recognises the best initiatives in newsrooms or editorial operations with measurable impact of transformational processes across content and business units. The category focuses on cross-functional collaboration, organisational design, process standards and efficiency, implementation of gender-responsive and safeguarding policies, incentive systems, change management, talent management and process automation.
- Online and digital innovation award
This category recognises news organisations that maximise the use of digital and social media tools and platforms to serve their audiences and fulfil their editorial missions. The award will be given to newsrooms or news/current affairs outlets based on their proven digital strategy, use of digital and social media to inform and engage audiences, user experience, and overall quality of journalism published on the digital platforms of a media house or news and current affairs outlet. Entries in this category may include reporting repackaged specifically for social media or original content created primarily for a social media audience. Entries may be in a variety of formats including, but not limited to, text, video, audio, photography or visualisation. Entries will be evaluated on journalistic merit, execution of the engagement strategy and overall impact of the story.
The subject-based awards will be given to individuals or teams of journalists or media practitioners for a single story or a series of related stories. In general, entries will be assessed for:
- Masterful command of the subject matter
- Masterful application of the craft of journalism
- Ethical treatment and adherence to journalistic standards of practice
In particular, judging of entries will be based on criteria including, but not limited to:
- Topicality and significance
- Interpretation and analysis
- Enterprise and explanation
- Accuracy and completeness
- Clarity and technique
- Evidence and data
- Contextualisation within Uganda’s development goals as appropriate
Entries may be in any format (text, audio, video, photo, data visualisations, illustrations or multimedia) and any journalistic style (features, investigations, conventional news, explainers, analysis, reviews, etc.)
Entries must be submitted using the UNJA 2023 topical categories submission form.
- Agriculture reporting
This award recognises the crucial role played by journalists in illuminating the complexities, challenges and innovations in the agriculture sector. Entries may include reporting on topics ranging from crop production and livestock management to agriculture policies, sustainable practices and the impact of climate change on farming communities. Broader themes of hunger, nutrition and environment may be accepted if the entries demonstrate the link of these issues to agriculture.
- Arts and culture reporting
This award recognises the exceptional work of journalists who bring the vibrant world of arts to life through their insightful and engaging reporting. The award will be given to journalists that report on various artistic disciplines, including visual arts, performing arts, literature, film, music and more. Stories may include profiles of artists, features and investigations, reporting on the structures and creation of contemporary culture, or examination of the creative arena.
- Business, economy and financial reporting
This award will be given to a story or series of stories on business, economics and finance that demonstrate(s) excellence, creativity and journalistic merit. Stories may cover a whole range of subjects including, but not limited to, the environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions of business, financial markets, banking and financial institutions, consumer financial literacy, financial technology, the state of the economy, the national development agenda, as well as people, companies, and institutions that drive business, the economy and financial system.
- Community reporting
This prize recognises the work o reporters based outside of Greater Kampala who provide a clear understanding of events and issues of importance to their communities. The award will be given to reporting that centres local information needs and voices, and is published with or as a result of community engagement. Particular attention will be given to under-reported subjects of people who would not have been given a voice were it not for the work done by local reporters.
- Defence and security reporting
This award recognises outstanding journalism on national defence and security. Award recipients demonstrate professional excellence in covering areas such as national security, operations of the defence forces, defence resource management, armed conflicts, civil and military relations and civic engagement in national defense issues.
- Education reporting
This award recognises the invaluable contribution of journalists who shine a light on critical issues and innovations in the realm of education. The award will be given to excellent reporting on topics such as educational policies, access to quality education, educational inequalities, teaching methodologies and learning outcomes, advancements in educational technology, and the impact of education on individuals and communities.
- Energy, petroleum and minerals reporting
This award honours journalists who demonstrate excellence in uncovering and explaining the complexities, challenges and impacts associated with energy production, distribution, and the extraction of petroleum and minerals. It celebrates journalists who go beyond the surface to investigate issues such as energy policies, renewable energy innovations, fossil fuel extraction, environmental sustainability, social and economic impacts, and governance and transparency. The subject may be on any form of energy – petroleum, nuclear, water, solar, etc. – or mineral resources.
- Environmental reporting
This award recognises journalists that, through their reporting, raise awareness about environmental issues and promote sustainable practice. The award will be given for exceptional reporting on topics such as climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, conservation efforts and environmental policies.
- Health reporting
This award will be given for distinguished reporting and writing on a wide range of issues including, but not limited to, public health, medical research, the business of health care, disease and health ethics, health infrastructure and systems, health-related social and behaviour change, and human capital.
- Justice, law and order reporting
This award honours the exceptional work of journalists who report on the intricate aspects of justice, law, and order with professionalism, accuracy, and a commitment to truth. The reporting shows an in-depth knowledge of issues such as civil justice and criminal justice, human rights and the rule of law, police, prisons, the judiciary and law enforcement in general. The award-winning journalist will go beyond the sector statistics and tell the story of the affected persons.
- Opinion and editorial commentary
This award will be given for compelling opinions and commentaries by journalists and non-journalists that illuminate public affairs (national, regional and global), issues in the news and socially significant issues. Entries are accepted in any format such as text, video, audio or visual.
- Political reporting
This award recognises the work of journalists who excel in reporting on political matters with integrity, objectivity and a commitment to informing the public. It will be given to reporting on the complex landscape of politics that provides insightful analysis and comprehensive coverage of political events, government policies, political systems, and the impact of political decisions on society.
- Public accountability reporting
This award will be given to journalists that tirelessly pursue transparency, expose corruption and hold public officials and institutions accountable. Entries for this award may include reporting on the allocation and use of public resources, ethical breaches, transparency initiatives, government accountability mechanisms and governance principles.
- Public works and infrastructure reporting
This award recognises the exceptional work of journalists on the development challenges and impact of public works and infrastructure projects in Uganda. It celebrates journalists that investigate and illuminate critical issues such as transport systems, construction projects, urban utilities, the sustainability and efficiency of infrastructure and national needs.
- Science and technology reporting
This award will be given to journalists who excel in reporting on scientific advancements and technological innovations, and their impact on society. It celebrates journalists who effectively communicate complex scientific concepts, discoveries and breakthroughs to the public in a way that is accurate, engaging and accessible. The award will honour journalistic work that promotes scientific literacy, fosters public understanding of emerging technologies and stimulates critical thinking about the ethical, social and environmental implications of scientific progress.
- Urbanisation, land and housing reporting
This award celebrates distinguished reporting on the complexities and challenges of urbanisation, land use, housing and property. It celebrates journalists who delve into critical topics such as urban development, housing affordability, land rights, sustainable urban transformation and equitable cities. Other topics may include land ownership, land and property rights, land grabbing, city planning, and urbanisation’s economic and cultural impacts.