Uganda National Journalism Awards 2023: Meet the winners

The Uganda National Journalism Awards 2023, organised by the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), took place at the Sheraton Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday 30 August, 2023. This event is the largest celebration of journalism in Uganda, recognising exceptional talents and their contributions to the field. Widely regarded as the most prestigious journalism awards in the country, it serves as a platform to honour and showcase the remarkable dedication and commitment of individuals and media institutions in upholding journalistic standards and values.

The awards ceremony celebrated journalists who have demonstrated outstanding skills in reporting across a wide spectrum of public affairs. From investigative pieces that unveil hidden truths to comprehensive coverage of pressing social issues, these accolades acknowledge the crucial role journalism plays in informing, educating, and catalysing positive change within society.

The winners

AGRICULTURE REPORTING
David Kiyengo, CBS FM 89.2 Emmanduso
Story – Counterfeit products a threat to agriculture business
Judges’ citation:
“Through skilful narrative construction and the adept use of diverse sources, David Kiyengo presented a comprehensive perspective on a significant challenge faced by agricultural businesses throughout Uganda.”

ARTS AND CULTURE REPORTING
Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina
Story – Okutumbula Ekitiibwa kya Buganda
Judges’ citation:
“Culton Nakamya delivered a masterful, immersive and accessible story that artfully delved into the beauty and complexity of Buganda’s intangible cultural heritage.”

BUSINESS, FINANCE AND ECONOMY REPORTING
Esther Oluka and Elizabeth Kamurungi, Daily Monitor
Series – Property auction over loans double after Covid-19
Judges’ citation: Esther Oluka and Elizabeth Kamurungi’s series skilfully combines topic choice, presentation, and timing to deliver a comprehensive piece that expertly employs comparative data, legal insights, and human-centred narratives.

COMMUNITY REPORTING
Jesse Muto, Radio Rupiny
Story – Sexual violence survivors use music for trauma healing
Judges’ citation:
“Mr. Muto’s storytelling prowess is evident as he expertly crafts a narrative that conveys complex information clearly and with great skill. The radio feature also shines a crucial light on pervasive sexual violence often overlooked by society.”

EDUCATION REPORTING
Amon Kitamirike and Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina
Story – Series – Marriage vs. education: Dilemma at the islands
Judges’ citation:
“Amon and Culton excel in bring a fresh perspective to the matter of underage marriage, by using subjects’ lived experiences to link this important issue to educational outcomes and Uganda’s long-term development goals.”

ENERGY, PETROLEUM AND MINING REPORTING
Federick Dramadri, Radio Pacis
Story – Briefcase companies infiltrate Uganda’s mining industry
Judges’ citation:
“Federick Dramadri’s story distinguishes itself through its exhaustive investigative, well-structured narrative, and a sense of thoroughness, effectively captivating listeners’ attention.”

ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING
Ronald Musoke, The Independent
Story – Behind lion massacres in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park
Judges’ citation:
“Ronald Musoke deftly explored the intricate relationship between environmental concerns and livelihoods, utilising a range of sources to eloquently capture the nuances of conservation, thereby setting a compelling standard for environmental journalism.”

HEALTH REPORTING
Elvis Basudde Kyeyune, New Vision
Story – Kalangala, a dreamland with a blemished reputation
Judges’ citation:
“Elvis Basudde’s article is heralded for shedding light on a community concern and addressing a significant yet under-reported public health topic.”

Henry Sekanjako, New Vision
Story – Post accident care costs govt billions
Judges’ citation:
“Henry Sekanjako’s remarkable article utilises illustrations, graphics, diverse voices, and supporting documents to powerfully highlight the urgent public health crisis of road safety in Uganda.”

JUSTICE, LAW AND ORDER REPORTING
Canary Mugume, Jamila Mulindwa, Patrick Lubwama and Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television
Story – Money swap bandits
Judges’ citation:
“The submission by the NBS Television team is praised for its conclusive reporting—a rarity in investigations—showcasing both the story’s wide-reaching resonance and its potential to influence law enforcement’s response to fraud.”

OPINION AND EDITORIAL COMMENTARY
Silas Javier Omagor, New Vision
Article – Why Ugandan athletes are loyal subjects
Judges’ citation:
“Silas Omagor’s opinion piece serves as an exemplar of persuasive journalism, skilfully delivering on the core thesis, constructing a resonant and compelling argument that captivates the reader through seamless clarity and flow.”

POLITICAL REPORTING
Canary Mugume, Shamim Nabakooza and Gorretti Kyeswa, NBS Television
Series – It’s politics, stupid
Judges’ citation:
“The entry stands out for its innovative approach to vital subjects such as internal party democracy, accountability and political cohesion, while also illuminating the intricate connection between money, corruption, and politics in Uganda.”

PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTING
Shamim Nabakooza and Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television
Story – The long walk for compensation
Judges’ citation:
“This investigative report showcases the reporters’ bravery in unveiling an ongoing national crisis. It is well executed and leaves the audience eagerly awaiting the next instalment of the subjects’ compelling yet unsettling journey.”

PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE REPORTING
Jamila Mulindwa Nuwaha and Thomas Kitimbo, NBS Television
Story – Building carnage: Uganda’s construction catastrophe
Judges’ citation:
“This winning story stands out for its exhaustive exploration of Uganda’s sub-par building standards, meticulous analysis of the impact of poor construction and detailed examination of regulatory issues, making it an exceptional and comprehensive investigation.”

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY REPORTING
Richard Wetaya, New Vision
Story – Biodigesters projected to reduce energy poverty
Judges’ citation:
“Mr Wetaya’s entry effectively examines energy accessibility and affordability, skilfully combining thorough research, contextualization, and clear, accessible language.”

URBANISATION, LAND AND PROPERTY REPORTING
Ronald Musoke, The Independent
Story – Benet battle for land
Judges’ citation:
“Mr Musoke’s article provides a significant and effective depiction of land tenure security and rights, illuminating vital concerns that impact the welfare of a community grappling with historical land injustices.”

The runners-up

Agriculture reporting

  • Joshua Kato, New Vision – How can Karamoja mark independence?
  • Charles Etukuri, New Vision – Story series on deadly chemicals in local market vegetables

Arts and culture reporting

  • Jacobs Seaman Odongo, BBC Africa – Tshala Muana: The raunchy DR Congo diva who captivated a continent

Business, finance and economy reporting

  • Henry Sekanjako and Mary Karugaba, New Vision – How cuts on government expenditure will affect service delivery

Community reporting

  • Dan Ayebare, Solutions Now Africa– Healing homes
  • Barbara Nalweyiso, Daily Monitor – Light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against FGM

Education reporting

  • Ritah Mukasa, New Vision – Is your child comfortable at school?

Energy, petroleum and mining reporting

  • Ritah Kemigisa, NTV Uganda – Artisanal mining and its contribution to Lake Victoria pollution

Environmental reporting

  • Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Isimba: Is it a dam of fortune or misfortune?

Justice, law and order reporting

  • Edward Anyoli, New Vision – Series – Why Uganda is a haven for wildlife traffickers

Opinion and editorial commentary

  • David Mafabi, PML Daily – China-Africa’s relationship is increasingly showing signs akin to colonialism

Political reporting

  • 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?

Public works and infrastructure reporting

  • Isaac Otwii and Canary Mugume, NBS Television – Lira-Kamdini Road a death trap

Science and technology reporting

  • Walter Mwesigye, NTV Uganda – Doctors use virtual reality to improve their craft

Urbanisation, land and property reporting

  • Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Namuwongo: The underbelly of Kampala’s urban poor

Honourable mentions

Arts and culture reporting

  • Bamuturaki Musinguzi, The EastAfrican – Gomesi: Uganda’s dress that’s a symbol of respect and dignity

Business, finance and economy reporting

  • Joan Salmon, Daily Monitor – How Uganda loses millions over wrong import-export prices

Education reporting

  • Bamuturaki Musinguzi, Daily Monitor – Bags that morph into furniture inspire learners

Energy, petroleum and mining reporting

  • Diana Taremwa Karakire, Ubuntu Times – Oil money heralds trouble for Uganda’s indigenous Bagungu tribe

Environmental reporting

  • Daniel Kiyengo, CBS FM 89.2 Emmanduso – Environmental destruction in Wakiso
  • Raziah Athman, New Vision – Kibiro salt mines crumble due to effects of climate change

Heath reporting

  • Henry Mugenyi, Shamim Nabakooza and Swaleh Ssali, NBS Television – Mulago emergency ward: The missing file
  • Rhonet Atwiine, Solutions Now Africa – How a community-led model has improved healthcare access in Kalangala

Justice, law and order reporting

  • Stuart Yiga, New Vision – Series investigating child trafficking from South Sudan to Uganda

 

Opinion and editorial commentary

  • Robert Atuhairwe, Albertine Journal – How best Uganda can avoid the oil curse

Public accountability reporting

  • Derrick Wandera, Daily Monitor – Series investigating the MPs’ Shs40 million ‘handshake’

Public works and infrastructure

  • Stuart Yiga, New Vision – UETCL pays Shs28 billion for plots created in Lake Victoria

Science and technology reporting

  • Rhonet Atwiine, Solutions Now Africa – Healing at a distance

Urbanisation, land and housing reporting

  • Benedicta Asiimwe, The Independent – Population pressure delays Butaleja wetlands restoration

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