Announcing the finalists of the Uganda National Journalism Awards 2023

The African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) is delighted to unveil the shortlist of finalists for the Uganda National Journalism Awards 2023.

Inaugurated in 2014, the Uganda National Journalism Awards are the country’s largest and most reputable celebration of journalistic excellence. These awards have consistently motivated journalists to expand their creative horizons, delve into critical subjects, and advocate for positive societal shifts. They foster unity among journalists and cultivate a spirit of collaboration and continuous learning.

Dr George Lugalambi, ACME’s Executive Director, emphasized the importance of the awards in encouraging exceptional journalism.

“For a decade, the Uganda National Journalism Awards have provided a platform to honour the extraordinary efforts of journalists who are dedicated to enlightening, educating, and engaging the public,” he said. “These awards not only celebrate excellent journalism but also serve as a reminder that the pursuit of verified truth and authentic public information is of paramount importance in our ever-evolving world.”

Insights from the panel of judges

This year’s submissions showcased an impressive array of entries that underscored the substantial impact of journalism in shaping public discourse and promoting accountability. A distinguished panel of judges, consisting of seasoned media professionals, meticulously evaluated each submission to identify the finest reporting of 2022. The panel noted that this year’s submissions encapsulated both the peaks and valleys of the human experience.

“We received stories that illuminated individual triumphs and resilience, as well as those that fearlessly exposed systemic injustices,” one of the judges remarked. “The multitude of perspectives and the unwavering pursuit of truth were evident in many submissions, showcasing the ability of journalism to enlighten, motivate, and drive change.”

The judges particularly appreciated the remarkable quality and quantity of submissions in the Community Reporting category. The panel applauded the dedication of journalists who participated in this category, acknowledging their commitment to amplifying local and grassroots narratives.

However, the Defence and Security Reporting category did not produce any finalists in this edition. This outcome underscores the exacting standards upheld by the judging panel in their pursuit of journalistic excellence. The panel observed a deficiency in the requisite quality and depth of analysis in the defence and security submissions, leading to the decision not to proceed with finalists. The panel emphasised that effective defence and security reporting necessitates a solid comprehension of pertinent issues, meticulous research, and nuanced storytelling. Unfortunately, the submissions fell short in meeting these criteria.

Key statistics

  • Total entries – 262
  • Total number of participating journalists – 186
  • Female participants – 27%
  • Media type representation: Newspaper – 35%; Online News Site – 30%; Television – 20%; Radio – 13%; News Magazine – 2%
  • Regional distribution: Kampala – 57%; Northern Region – 19%; Eastern Region – 10%; Western Region – 8%; Central Region – 6%

The finalists for the Uganda National Journalism Awards 2023 will be celebrated at a gala event on August 30, 2023, in Kampala where the winners in each category will be unveiled. During the awards gala, the winners of the institutional categories will also be announced. This year, the awards encompass institutional categories focusing on newsroom and editorial transformation, as well as online and digital innovation.

ACME extends its heartfelt congratulations to all the finalists and commends all participating journalists for their unwavering commitment to impactful and meaningful journalism in Uganda.

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UGANDA NATIONAL JOURNALISM AWARDS 2023 SHORTLIST

Agriculture reporting

  • Charles Etukuri, New Vision – Deadly chemicals in local market vegetables (series)
  • David Kiyengo, CBS 89.2 FM Emmanduso – Counterfeit products a threat to agriculture business
  • Joshua Kato, New Vision – How can Karamoja mark independence?

 

Arts and culture reporting

  • Bamuturaki Musinguzi, The EastAfrican – Gomesi: Uganda’s dress that’s a symbol of respect and dignity
  • Jacobs Odongo Seaman, BBC Africa – Tshala Muana: The raunchy DR Congo diva who captivated a continent
  • Scovia Culton Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – Okutumbula Ekitiibwa kya Buganda

 

Business, economy and finance reporting

  • Esther Oluka and Elizabeth Kamurungi, Daily Monitor – Property auction loans double after Covid-19 (series)
  • Henry Sekanjako and Mary Karugaba, New Vision – How cuts on govt expenditure will affect service delivery
  • Joan Salmon, Daily Monitor – How Uganda loses millions over wrong import-export prices

 

Community reporting

  • Barbara Nalweyiso, Daily Monitor – Light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against FGM
  • Dan Ayebare – Solutions Now Africa – Healing homes
  • Jesse Johnson James Muto, Radio Rupiny – Sexual violence victims use music for trauma healing

 

Education reporting

  • Bamuturaki Musinguzi, Daily Monitor – Bags that morph into furniture inspire learners
  • Ritah Mukasa, New Vision – Is your child comfortable at school?
  • Scovia Culton Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – Marriage vs. education: Dilemma at the islands

 

Energy, petroleum and mining reporting

  • Diana Taremwa Karakire, Ubuntu Times – Oil money heralds trouble for Uganda’s indigenous Bagungu tribe
  • Federick Dramadri, Radio Pacis – Briefcase companies infiltrate Uganda’s mining industry
  • Ritah Kemigisa, NTV Uganda – Artisanal mining and its contribution to Lake Victoria pollution

 

Environmental reporting

  • David Kiyengo, CBS 89.2 FM Emmanduso – Environmental destruction in Wakiso
  • Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Isimba: Is it a dam of fortune or misfortune?
  • Raziah Athman, New Vision – Kibiro salt mines crumble due to effects of climate change
  • Ronald Musoke, The Independent – Behind lion massacres in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park

 

Health reporting

  • Elvis Basudde, New Vision – Kalangala, a dreamland with a blemished reputation
  • Henry Mugenyi, Shamim Nabakooza and Swaleh Ssali, NBS Television – Mulago emergency ward: The missing file
  • Henry Sekanjako, New Vision – Post road accident care costs govt billions
  • Rhonet Atwiine, Solutions Now Africa – How a community-led model has improved healthcare access in Kalangala

 

Justice, law and order reporting

  • Canary Mugume, Jamila Mulindwa Nuwaha, Patrick Lubwama and Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – Money swap bandits
  • Edward Anyoli, New Vision – Why Uganda is a haven for wildlife traffickers (series)
  • Stuart Yiga, New Vision – Investigation on child trafficking from South Sudan to Uganda (series)

 

Opinion and editorial commentary

  • David Mafabi, PML Daily – China-Africa relationship is increasingly showing signs akin to colonialism
  • Robert Atuhairwe, Albertine Journal – How best Uganda can avoid the oil curse
  • Silas Javier Omagor, New Vision – Why Ugandan athletes are loyal servants

 

Political reporting

  • Canary Mugume, Goretti Kyeswa and Shamim Nabakooza, NBS Television – It’s politics, stupid
  • Derrick Wandera, Daily Monitor – Can Bobi Wine’s anti-Museveni campaigns in the West pay off?

 

Public accountability reporting

  • Aaron Ainomugisha, Rise News Uganda Network – Where is Emyooga money in Mbarara?
  • Derrick Wandera, Daily Monitor – Investigating the MPs’ Shs40 million ‘handshake’ (series)
  • Shamim Nabakooza and Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – The long walk for compensation

 

Public works and infrastructure reporting

  • Isaac Otwii and Canary Mugume, NBS Television – Lira-Kamdini Road a death trap
  • Jamila Mulindwa Nuwaha and Thomas Kitimbo, NBS Television – Building carnage: Uganda’s construction catastrophe
  • Stuart Yiga, New Vision – UETCL pays Shs28b for plots created in L. Victoria

 

Science and technology reporting

  • Rhonet Atwiiwe, Solutions Now Africa – Healing at a distance
  • Richard Wetaya, New Vision – Biogas digesters projected to reduce energy poverty
  • Walter Mwesigye, NTV Uganda – Doctors use virtual reality to improve their craft

 

Urbanisation, land and property reporting

  • Benedicta Asiimwe, The Independent – Population pressure delays Butaleja wetlands restoration
  • Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Namuwongo: The underbelly of Kampala’s urban poor
  • Ronald Musoke, The Independent – Benet battle for land

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