Journalism fellowships & grants

Emerta logoThe African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) has set up a fund  to support Ugandan journalists seeking to do in-depth and investigative stories on transparency and accountability within the public sector.


Up to 300 journalists stand to benefit from the grant facility and a fellowship programme, which has been set up with support from the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). Each successful story project, selected on a competitive basis, may be funded with up to Shs1.75 million.


ACME will periodically publish calls for journalists, backed by their newsrooms, to submit story projects for funding under either direct reporting grants or financial support as part of a six-month training fellowship. The opportunity to receive this support will be available to journalists until December 2017.


“The grant facility and fellowship programme will support Ugandan journalists to produce accurate and compelling in-depth and investigative journalism that informs and engages the public,” said ACME Executive Director Peter Mwesige.


The grant facility and fellowship programme form one of three parts of a partnership between DGF and ACME titled “Enhanced Media Reporting for Transparency & Accountability (EMERTA).”


The other two components of the partnership are: “Data journalism and evidence-based reporting” and “Expanding spaces to enhance knowledge and promote professional fellowship among journalists.” These components encompass non-monetary support to the Uganda journalism community and activities include data journalism training, establishment of an online resource centre, assembling of public databases that journalists can use for story projects, hosting of informal dialogues between journalists and public decision makers, monthly film screenings, as well as convening of an annual lecture series on media and politics in Africa.


Speaking on the logic behind this ambitious media development project, Dr Mwesige said the three components are linked by their focus on improving the flow of, and access to, information on service delivery and public affairs.


He said the goal of the project is to enhance media oversight of governance through increasing the quantity and quality of in-depth public affairs reporting and investigative journalism that better informs and engages the public and ultimately increases transparency and accountability in Uganda.


Direct grants will go to story projects that cover any of the 12 thematic areas listed below while the fellowship programme will support journalists interested in covering the first three of them.

  1. Local government
  2. Parliamentary oversight
  3. Oil, gas and mining
  4. Agriculture
  5. Land and property rights
  6. Water and environment
  7. Energy
  8. Justice, law and order
  9. Transport infrastructure and public works
  10. Health
  11. Science and technology
  12. Education


Journalists seeking funding are expected to focus their story projects on the following issues, among others, within the above sectors:

  1. Public procurement processes and practices
  2. Delivery of social services
  3. Accountability mechanisms
  4. Public administration
  5. Implementation of regulations and operations of oversight institutions
  6. Observance of legislation and constitutional rights
  7. Respect for due process and the rule of law
  8. Alternative development models especially at the grassroots


Procedures on how to apply for the grants and/or fellowship are announced periodically.




ABOUT AFRICAN CENTRE FOR MEDIA EXCELLENCE: ACME is a Kampala-based independent, non-profit professional organisation committed to helping African journalists seek and achieve professional excellence, and improving journalism and mass communication in Africa. The organisation fulfils its mandate through refresher training for mid-career journalists; media literacy training for civil society organisations and corporate companies; media research; free expression advocacy; and media monitoring.


For further information, please contact Ms Lydia Namubiru, an ACME programme officer, on

+256-755-080-023; or


ABOUT DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE FACILITY: Established by Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union, the Democratic Governance Facility supports state and non-state partners to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda. ( 

8 Comments on “Journalism fellowships & grants”

    1. Mr Ojara,

      The ACME application is quite competitive. You are encouraged to make a very strong case for why you should be selected for the training or grants. A strong, well-researched story pitch, good story samples, clear editorial support and an application written in good English should at least put you in the running.

      Don’t give up!

  1. Thanks for the Grant Application invitation I received from Paul
    Kimumwe for sure this is the kind of opportunity i have been looking
    forward to find.
    I am freelance journalist and i correspond for Uganda Radio Network ad
    based in Soroti town.
    The story idea I want to cover the brewing land dispute between the residents of Abim and Amuria over the people who have settled in the so called “NO MANS LAN D” in Obulin at the border between Abim district in Karamoja and Amuria district in Teso.
    The situation of the people living in Obulin is hanging on balance in the first place they do not know under which local administration do they fall; Amuria or Abim district local government and as it surfaced during the registration of the National Identify Card project that made Abim district protest the move by Amuria district local government to register the people of Obulin as people from Amuria and the leadership there then ordered the residents to either register under Abim district or leave Obulin to go and settle at Amuria district headquarters the problem that has not yet been resolved to date.
    Another underlying problem that is likely to explode with time is the ownership of the Obulin resettlement area that attracted many people from different parts of Teso who did not have land who rushed and apportioned themselves land at the so called NO MANS LAND between Abim and Amuria districts.
    The settlement of the people at Obulin was then spearheaded by Julius Ochen who the District Chairman Amuria was claiming they agreed with Abim local administration authorities but it seems things are turning around that leaves a lot to be desired over the situation of the people living in Obulin settlement area.
    However, interestingly the discovering of mineral deposits following government recent survey indicates Abim and Amuria district have enormous mineral deposits that will require some of us to require to be trained and equipped with skills to report about minerals and mining in our country especially the case of Teso.
    The other thematic area i would have loved to benefit from is the training on how to report on Oil, gas and mining because following country mineral deposits survey government has discovered that Amuria district has great deposits of minerals that allegedly will include, gold, copper, potassium, cobalt among others. I am sure this development will require the journalists based and especially myself to be equipped with knowledge and skills on how to report about Oil, Gas and mining and how to present such a precious discovery to the local person at the grass root so as to make them appreciate and how they should participate or benefit from the minerals that may happen to be got in their ancestral land as it is the case in Teso most land is owned by the clan in trust for the individuals who pass it on to
    the next generation and the cycle continues.
    I started my media practice with Etop Ateso local newspaper way back
    in 1999 as a freelance photographer and with time i started to correspond for the New Vision actively between 2001-2010 as a freelance writer and photographer.
    I am proud to note that my articles hit headlines in the New Vision several times especially during the
    incursion of the LRA rebels into Teso in 2003 and the devastating
    floods of 2007 that hit Teso.
    Journalism/media practice is my hobby and vocation and i am ready to go an extra mile to produce the best article/story especially if it will benefit the people.
    I promise to put every effort to source for stories required for the thematic areas.
    Looking forward to your kind and loving guidance.
    Yours faithfully,

    John Omoding
    Based in Teso, Uganda
    Mobile Phone: +256-712-332-332
    or +256-755-332-332

  2. it is so competitive i applied and filed everything but up to now no reply from acme. i was like about the story “the impaction of floods in kasese” but i like up country reporters are neglected compared to those in kampala

    1. Mr Kiiza,

      Each applicant will receive feedback in due course. As you mentioned, this is a highly competitive process in which each entry is judged on its merit, not on the location of a journalist or media house. We encourage you to try your hand again in the last round of grants to be announced in early 2016.

  3. thanks for this opportunity, is it acceptable for me to apply in two thematic area say local government and water and environment?
    sanya Emmanuel Mango
    Environment Reporter
    101.4 Elgon fm mbale

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