Who founded African Centre for Media Excellence?
Two Ugandan journalists – Dr Peter Mwesige and Mr Bernard Tabaire – founded ACME in August 2009 although they started discussing the idea in 2005 when they both worked at Daily Monitor in senior editorial positions. Dr Mwesige has a PhD in mass communications from the United States and, among other jobs, has been head of training for the Nairobi-based Nation Media Group, executive editor of the Daily Monitor, and head of the department of mass communication at Makerere University. Mr Tabaire was the first managing editor of the weekend editions at the Monitor i.e. he was in charge of the Saturday and Sunday Monitor, sister papers of the Daily Monitor. He remains a columnist with the Sunday Monitor, as well as working as a radio (and sometimes TV) pundit on political issues. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the United States and has been a visiting journalist fellow at Oxford University. Both men have published papers on media in Uganda in peer-reviewed journals, and have also worked as communication consultants for various local and international organisations.
What does ACME do?
ACME’s primary aim is to contribute toward the realisation and sustenance of excellence in journalism and mass communication in Africa, starting with Uganda. In that regard, ACME carries out the following programmes and activities: mid-career journalism training; media literacy training; media monitoring; media research; freedom of expression advocacy; grant-making for in-depth and investigative reporting; hosting of annual journalism awards event; and hosting of monthly lecture and movie series on public affairs and journalism.
Does ACME offer diploma and degree certificates?
ACME does not offer any academic qualification because it is not an academic institution. We do, however, offer certificates of attendance at the end of some of our courses.
How do I get in touch with ACME?
We prefer that you write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Your email will be seen by at least three people, that way guaranteeing you a quick response. You may, however, call us on +256312202349 / +256312202351
How do I know about ACME trainings?
Visit our website at www.acme-ug.org regularly. We also announce availability of opportunities via email and Facebook (ACME.UG) and Twitter (@ACME_Uganda). Otherwise send us an email inquiry at email@example.com
How is ACME different from other media development NGOs?
ACME is different largely because of its approach to training, which usually lasts for months. We do not like doing one-off workshops that last, say, five days and that is the end of it. We like to build in mentorship and coaching lasting at least three months so we can engage each other more. This approach tends to have better results. This is not to say we are inflexible in our ways. Far from it. We can always tailor-make trainings for particular groups depending on specific needs and if we think some measurable results can be achieved. ACME also has a state of the art, purpose-built, training centre, which allows us to offer a more wholesome learning environment.
Do you work in other African countries?
Yes. We have trained or co-trained journalists, especially on covering extractives (oil, gas and minerals), in South Sudan, Ghana and Tanzania. It is in our plan in the coming years to open offices outside Uganda, or find credible partners to work together in the different countries.
Do you do public relations for companies, organisations by sending out press statements, promoting campaigns, etc?
No. What we do is train organisations and companies in media relations/literacy (how media work, how to cultivate relations with reporters, how to use social media to enhance visibility, how to write an effective press release, how to write an Op-Ed article) so that they can go do their own public relations more efficiently.
How much do you charge for one to attend ACME trainings?
We are not charging yet, but that will change in the future. Whatever fee we decide upon, it will not be prohibitive as to cut out most potential beneficiaries.
Who can benefit from ACME trainings?
Mid-career journalists; people from civil society, political groups, companies and government agencies. Soon we will be announcing how individuals can benefit.
Who funds ACME?
Like most non-profits, ACME depends mostly on donor money to run its activities. Organisations that have funded us thus far include such big names as MacArthur Foundation, Revenue Watch Institute, and Hivos. We are also working, however, to earn (unrestricted) money to be able to continue the non-profit work we do.
Is ACME a consultancy firm?
No, ACME is registered as a “company limited by guarantee and not having share capital”, which is to say that it is a non-profit organisation. Just call it a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
What services does ACME offer to non-journalists?
We offer training in media literacy – a deeper understanding of the media and communications landscape in Uganda so that the non-journalist can become an informed consumer and user of news and information and the attendant technologies. We also run an online resource centre, which is regularly being updated. Anyone is free to visit it via our website www.acme-ug.org Who knows, some day we may open up our still-growing library to the community around Makindye East so people can borrow books.
Does ACME have a political side it supports?
No. ACME is a non-partisan professional organisation.