Ugandan journalists honoured in national journalism awards

Uganda’s top journalists were honoured when the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) hosted the 2020 Uganda National Journalism Awards on Friday 11 September.

The awards were supported by the Democratic Governance Facility. A total of 123 journalists entered 241 entries to the awards. 16 judges from academia, public communications and the media assessed the entries.

According to the ACME, the number of entries is consistent with participation levels in previous iterations of the Uganda National Journalism Awards. However, ACME’s board chair, Dr Monica Chibita said that women constituted only 16% of participating journalists.

“We would like to encourage women journalists to participate more not only in the awards, but also in other ACME-run activities and programmes,” she said.

34 journalists and writing teams won first-place awards in 19 reporting categories. Each winner took home a cash prize of Ushs1.5 million, a commemorative plaque, and a certificate. First runners-up also received a cash prize and a certificate, and second runners-up were awarded certificates of recognition.

Dr Emily Maractho from Uganda Christian University presented the judges' report on behalf of the chief judge

The 2020 winners, listed by category, are:

Agriculture reporting

WINNER – Joshua Kato, New Vision – “Agro-chemicals endanger ecosystem, human life”

1st runner-up – Ronald Musoke, The Independent – “Museveni’s GMO law dilemma; American interest in Uganda’s GMO law

2nd runner-up – Alon Mwesigwa, The Observer – “Milk prices test resilience of Uganda’s dairy sector

Arts reporting

WINNER – Frank Walusimbi, NTV Uganda – “Songs of resistance” (Part 1; Part 2)

1st runner-up – Paul Kayonga, NBS Television – “Fresh Kid si ye asoose okuyimba

2nd runner-up – Andrew Kaggwa, Leo Africa Review – “The evolution of Bobi Wine

Breaking news

WINNER – Betty Amamukirori, New Vision – “Armed gangs in Kween forcibly mutilating girls

Honorable mention – Cliff Wamala, NTV Uganda – “Okwanjula eri poliisi”

Business, economy and finance reporting

WINNER – Ismail Musa Ladu, Daily Monitor – “How Uganda is surrendering trillions in tax agreements to multi-national firms

1st runner-up – Isaac Khisa, The Independent – “Behind the sugar zoning politics

2nd runner-up – Alon Mwesigwa, The Observer – ‘Winners, losers in Uganda-Rwanda row

Data journalism

WINNER – Edgar Raymond Batte, Daily Monitor – “Birding can rake in more revenue than mountain gorillas

Runners-up – Lillian Namusoke Magezi, New Vision – “Balancing chores – Men need to take” part; Isaac Khisa, The Independent – “Across Africa, tech-enabled micro insurance is the next big thing

Education reporting

WINNER – Solomon Serwanjja and Thomas Kitimbo, NBS Television – “Mature before 18: The tale of teenage pregnancies in Kamuli

1st runner-up – Richard Wetaya, New Vision – “Is PLE to blame for low secondary school enrollment?

2nd runner-up – David Kiyengo, CBS CBS 89.2 Emmanduso – “School dropouts- Part 1; School dropouts – Part 2

Energy and extractives reporting

WINNER – Daniel Lutaaya, NBS Television – “The real gold diggers”

1st runner-up – Pascal Kwesiga – “How much will Ugandans earn from $20b oil projects?

2nd runner-up – Ronald Musoke, The Independent – “Museveni cornered on Shs 446 bn oil money

Environment reporting

WINNER – Solomon Serwanjja and Timothy Maganda, NBS Television – “Bidi Bidi refugee camp’s firewood crisis”

1st runner-up – Peter Labeja, Radio Rupiny – “Making Charcoal Attractive for Uganda’s Supermarket

2nd runner-up – Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – “How green technology can cut the cost of running universities

Explanatory reporting

WINNER – Raymond Mujuni and Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – “The sinking of MV Templar

1st runner-up – Cecilia Okoth, Benjamin Ssebagala, Paul Lubwama and Ismail Nsubuga, Vision Group – “Forgery, bribery hit ID project

2nd runner-up – Pascal Kwesiga, New Vision – “Why oil is here to stay


WINNER – Richard Wetaya, New Vision – “Is fight against teenage pregnancy lost?

1st runner-up – Christopher Bendana, New Vision – “Equality: Women decry gaps between policy and reality”

2nd runner-up – Felix Ainebyoona, Daily Monitor – ‘Karimojong girl who refused early marriage graduates in Medicine”

Health reporting

WINNER – Leah Kahunde, Radio One 90 FM – ‘Unsafe and sorry

1st runner-up – Christopher Kayonga and Gabriel Iguma, Wizarts – “Petition 16”

2nd runners-up – Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – “Trials and tribulations of the deaf” in Uganda; Samuel Stone Mwesigwa, Victor Opira and Salim Segawa – ‘Meet Vivian Nabanoba and Hilary Niwamanya, two people living positively with HIV

Investigative reporting

WINNER – Sudhir Byaruhanga, NTV Uganda – “Ranch land being taken by government officials

1st runner-up – Canary Mugume and Thomas Kitimbo, NBS Television – “Modern day slavery in Soroti

2nd runner-up – Daniel Lutaaya, NBS Television – “Without a trace”

Justice, law and order reporting

WINNER – Betty Amamukirori, Edward Muhumuza, Patrick Tumwesigye and Obeid Lutale, New Vision – “Officials turn courts into corruption dens”

1st runner-up – Paul Kayonga, NBS Television – “Amateeka mu ddubi

2nd runner-up – Sudhir Byaruhanga, NTV Uganda – “Police on opposition activities”

Local reporting

WINNER – Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – “Mothers at risk as water crisis cripples Nakaseke Hospital”

1st runner-up – George Bita, New Vision – “Children at risk as condemned asbestos roofs persist

2nd runner-up – Herbert Kamoga, NTV Uganda – “Nakasongola student walks 15 kilometers to write UCE”

National news reporting – Broadcast

WINNER – Solomon Serwanjja, Godfrey Badebye and Kassim Mohammed, NBS Television – “Stealing from the sick

1st runner-up – Canary Mugume and Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – “The death of Ziggy Wine”

2nd runner-up – Joan Akello, Uganda Radio Network – “Over 100 MPs listed as perpetual absentees in Parliament”

National news reporting – Print

WINNER – Ronald Musoke, The Independent – “Colours of violence in the 2021 elections

1st runner-up – Ian Katusiime, The Independent – “UPDF’s uncertain future in Somalia

2nd runner-up – Patience Ahimbisibwe, Daily Monitor – “1000 weddings at city church declared illegal

Photo and video journalism

WINNER – Abubaker Lubowa, Daily Monitor – “Nowhere to run”

1st runner-up – Samuel Songa Stone Mwesigwa, Victor Opira and Samuel Segawa, STORYTELD – “Moving around Kampala as a person with a disability

2nd runner-up – Richard Sanya, New Vision – “Flying to safety”

Political reporting

WINNER – Christopher Kayonga and Gabriel Iguma, Wizarts – Demarcation of polling areas

1st runner-up – Ian Katusiime, The Independent – "Visa denied

2nd runner-up – Misairi Thembo Kahungu, Daily Monitor – “Seven years later, African leaders move slow on democracy charter

Sports reporting

WINNER – Abdul-Nasser Ssemugabi, Daily Monitor – Malta – “Opening the pool for young para-swimmers

1st runner-up – George Katongole, Daily Monitor – “Coach with physical disability

2nd runner-up – Henry Lematia, Radio Pacis Arua –”14 years on, teenage pregnancy eating away new Inzikuru’s in West Nile"

Read ACME’s statement on the awards here.

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