The African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), with support from Hivos, has announced the launch of the Uganda National Journalism Awards.
The goal of the awards scheme is to improve the quality of journalism in Uganda by inspiring and recognising excellence in reporting on public affairs issues.
“The kind of journalism we would like to promote will help the citizenry demand transparency and accountability of public officials,” said Dr. Peter Mwesige, the executive director of ACME.
“For the last two years we have run an awards scheme targeting coverage of the oil, gas and mining sector. Now we want to expand that to create a prestigious annual event, one which all who care about quality journalism in Uganda will look forward to.”
The awards are open to all Ugandan journalists who are professional and competent, but also exhibit a passion for in-depth public affairs reporting and investigative journalism.
The specific objectives of the awards scheme are to inspire young journalists to embrace enterprise and investigative journalism; increase the quantity and quality of public affairs reporting and investigative journalism; promote accurate, knowledgeable, enterprise and investigative reporting in all media; and increase the diversity of voices in media coverage.
ACME will propose partnerships with organisations that offer independent awards with the goal of incorporating those awards into a unified Uganda National Journalism Awards scheme.
The awards, to be handed out toward the end of 2013, will recognise excellent reporting in a range of fields including, but not limited, to the following:
- Investigative journalism
- Explanatory reporting
- Feature writing
- Multimedia feature writing
- Editorial cartooning
- Local reporting
- National news reporting
- Data journalism
- Online journalism
- Political coverage
- Public service reporting
- Environment reporting
- Health reporting
- Arts and culture
There will also be a grand prize – journalist of the year award (for sustained and proven excellence in reporting) – and a lifetime achievement award. The awards will be given based on the following criteria:
- Reporting accuracy and comprehensiveness;
- Writing style, language and storytelling technique;
- Originality and enterprise in reporting;
- Reporting rigor, depth and breadth of discussion and engagement;
- Skill in use of journalistic tools for original reporting;
- Insight, analysis and examination of the context of the story; and
- Relevance and public impact or benefit.