2020 Uganda National Journalism Awards Categories

This is a description of the 20 competition categories in the Uganda National Journalism Awards 2020.

  • Individual or shared byline entries can be made for all categories.
  • Editorial managers and members of the public may also nominate and submit entries for a journalist for an award.
  • If you need further clarification on the awards, please write to awards@acme-ug.org, subject: ‘UNJA 2020 inquiries’.

Agriculture reporting

This award recognises the best agriculture writing or production in Uganda. Entries have farming practice, agriculture policy, trends, research, innovation or trade at their core. Broader themes of hunger, nutrition, climate change and environment may be accepted if the entries demonstrate the link of these issues to the agriculture sector.

Arts journalism

The award for this category recognises articles or broadcasts that provide relevant context, background and analysis of creative arts issues. The word ‘arts’ is to be interpreted broadly so as to include journalism and criticism covering the visual and performing arts, creative arts, literature, spoken word, film and  architecture. Stories may include profiles of artists, features and investigations, reporting on the structures and creation of contemporary culture, or examination of the creative arena.

Breaking news reporting

This award focuses on coverage of breaking news events. Entries are judged for skill in storytelling, substance and completeness in covering an unanticipated, unplanned or developing news event within the day. The emphasis of this award is not only on the ability of journalists to report under the pressure of deadlines, but in subsequent days, their ability to sustain reporting that illuminates the key issues pertinent to the original event in a manner that provides context and depth. Entries must contain the breaking news report and at least one follow-up report on the same subject/issue. Entries should include digital elements if they were an important part of the initial coverage.

Business, economics and financial reporting

This award will be given to a story or series of stories on business, economics or finance that demonstrate(s) excellence, creativity and journalistic merit.

Data journalism

The award will be given to exemplary data-driven investigations and stories in print, broadcast and online platforms. It focuses on the effectiveness of the data to tell a story, how well the data is presented to users, the relevance of the data, and the design and functionality of data presentation. In addition to statistical analysis, interpretation and visualisation, the judges will also assess the ability of journalists to use the data to tell complex stories in simple, engaging and convincing ways.

Education reporting

This award recognises a story or series of stories that make(s) an exceptional contribution to public awareness and understanding of issues around education policy, research, learning outcomes, teaching practice and innovation, financing, and reform at all levels in Uganda.

Energy, oil, gas and mineral resources

This award will be given to excellent reporting that enhances understanding of Uganda’s energy and natural resources sector. The subject may be on any form of energy—oil, gas, nuclear, water, solar or natural resources, such as minerals.

Environment reporting

This award recognises a story or series of stories that have the potential of making a significant contribution to public awareness and understanding of environmental issues. It also honours reporting with the potential to bring constructive change in the environment sector.

Explanatory reporting

This award is for exemplary storytelling that presents, breaks down or analyses complex public affairs issues. Entries will also be judged on the ability of journalists to provide essential context to the flood of news in accessible and digestible formats. Winning stories will be fact-based and data-rich, demonstrating the journalist’s depth of analysis, understanding of the issue(s), as well as clear writing and presentation.

Feature writing

The award recognises an outstanding single story told in creative narrative style, using techniques such as character development, use of dialogue and sense of place. Entries can focus on human interest, lifestyle or news.

Health reporting

This award will be given for distinguished reporting and writing on a wide range of issues including public health, medical research, the business of health care, disease and health ethics.

Investigative reporting

This award recognises excellence in reporting, based on one’s own initiative, scrutiny, and investigation of matters of public importance. In many cases, the subjects of the reporting wish matters under scrutiny to remain undisclosed or kept out of the public domain. The reporting must not be based on an investigation made by someone else. It is permissible to use excerpts from official records and investigations, but only if they are incidental and not the primary evidence to support the investigative conclusion.

Justice, law and order reporting

Judging of this award is based on reporting that examines or illuminates one or a range of issues in the justice, law and order sector. The reporting shows an in-depth knowledge of issues such as civil justice and criminal justice, human rights and rule of law, police, and prisons. The award-winning journalist will go beyond the sector statistics and tell the story of the affected persons.

Local reporting

This prize recognises the work of reporters based outside of Kampala who provide a clear understanding of events and issues of importance to their localities – be they towns, districts or regions. It honours reporters who demonstrate excellence and versatility in covering local issues for a local, regional or national audience.

National news reporting

This award will be granted for distinguished reporting on national affairs. Winners will have demonstrated an understanding of the subject of coverage as well as elements of quality journalism such as analysis, explanation, context, and multiple sourcing.

Two separate prizes for broadcast and print entries will be granted.

News illustration

This award will be given for skilfully executed non-fiction live sketches and comics, maps, charts, diagrams, editorial cartooning, news cartoons and comics from online, print and broadcast media. The entries should illuminate complex information on everyday issues in the news in interesting, entertaining or enlightening ways. Each entrant can submit one entry consisting of no more than three (3) topically related illustrations accompanied by a short explanation of the illustration and how it developed. Details should include the story’s chronology and circumstances affecting its gathering and presentation.

Photo and video journalism

This award will be given to a photojournalist or video journalist who displays excellence and creativity in the visual presentation of a breaking news story, a feature or a subject of human interest with journalistic merit. The photos and videos must have been first published or broadcast by a Ugandan media outlet.  As is the case for photojournalism entries, the directing, camera work, sound and editing of the video journalism entries must be the work of a single person. Alongside the idea and concept of the videos and photos, the judges will appraise technical aptitude, creativity, storytelling and fluency of visual language.

A journalist may submit one photo or video for a single story, or no more than three topically related videos or photos for a story series or feature.

Political reporting

This award will recognise reporting of politics and political power. Entries could focus on a range of subjects including elections, parliament, governance and the democratic or political process. Judges will look for innovative issue-based reporting that informs and engages audiences.

Sports reporting

This award will go to a journalist(s) who cover(s) sports with originality. It recognises reporting that brings sporting occasions or sporting events to life with creativity and quality.