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Radio Pacis Journalist pause for photo with his accolade at Uganda National Journalists Award Ceremony held at Mestil Hotel -Kampala

John Dibaba and Sabir Musa of Radio Pacis shines at ACME Awards 2021

News | The Northern Link UG | Thirty percent of the top accolades at this year’s Uganda National Journalism Awards were earned for coverage of the most pressing issue of the past two years – the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health was one area most impacted by the pandemic, and a report “How the Nurse of the Year 2020 rose to the limelight” by Radio Pacis news reporter John Dibaba led the way, as one of the top awards at Uganda National  Journalists Awards 2021 held at Mestil Hotel – Kampala.

On the other hand, Sabir Musa’s stories “Jennifer seeking justice months after beating by security guard (series)” and “The impact of rock blasting activity by Dott Services Limited on the community in Oluko sub-county” came as the second runner up in the categories of Law & Justice and Local Reporting respectively

John Dibaba takes a selfie with his Accolade at the award ceremony

Another story that caught the attention of the judges was the fire at Makerere, which earned two awards while New Vision journalist Gerald Tenywa also took two awards for his coverage of energy and environment issues.

According to the  African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), organizers of the event since 2014, the awards “celebrate and promote exceptional, in-depth and enterprising journalism that informs public debate and holds the powerful to account. They are open to all journalists working for media outlets in Uganda or regional media houses with wide circulation and significant audience reach in the country.”

Head of the panel of judges JB Wasswa in his remarks noted that there is still a shortage of creativity in storytelling. “The way we presented news in 1996 is the way many are still presenting it. The use of new digital journalism tools is minimal,” he said.

Board chairperson of the ACME Susan Nsibirwa hailed the winners and said the awards were a stepping stone to even greater works from them.

“What do journalists get out of these awards? We note that winners of the awards in the past have seen an advancement in their careers. They have also enjoyed an ability to compete for and win international awards,” she said.

According to ACME, 147 journalists participated in the awards held at Mestil Hotel in Kampala, up from 123 the previous year. About one-third of the participating journalists are based in towns and cities outside Kampala.

A panel of 13 judges drawn from the media, academia, and public communications adjudicated the entries. The members of the panel are:

  • Mr. Benon Herbert Oluka – Editor, Global Investigative Journalism Network Africa
  • Dr. Emily Maractho – Head of Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Uganda Christian University
  • Ms. Evelyn Kiapi – Communications and public relations specialist
  • Mr. John Baptist Wasswa – Media development and communication specialist
  • Ms. Laura Walusimbi – Corporate Communications Manager, Uganda Coffee Development Authority
  • Ms. Lydia Namubiru – Digital and data journalism specialist
  • Ms. Patience Atuhaire – Senior Broadcast Journalist at BBC News
  • Mr. Paul Kimumwe – Senior Programme Officer, CIPESA
  • Ms. Rose Mary Kemigisha – Senior Human Rights Officer/Editor, Uganda Human Rights Commission
  • Mr. Richard Kavuma – Communications specialist
  • Dr. Sara Namusoga-Kaale – Lecturer, Department of Journalism and Communication, Makerere University
  • Mr. Simon Kaheru – Public Affairs and Communications Director, Coca-Cola Beverages
  • Dr Wairagala Wakabi – Executive Director, CIPESA

Full List of winners 

  1. AGRICULTURE
    John Okeya, The Cooperator Magazine – Post-harvest handling: What do farmers need to know?
    Julius Odeke, Transformation Magazine – Farmers in Teso paradise of oranges agonize over glut
    Paul Murungi, Daily Monitor – Pearl Dairy dilemma: Farmers stare at a bleak future
    Stuart Twinomujuni, Urban TV – Fighting unemployment using banana fingers
  2. ARTS
    Daniel Lutaaya & Thomas Kitimbo, NBS Television – Party after party in the lockdown
    Frank Walusimbi, NTV Uganda – The impact of Covid-19 on the arts
    John Vianney Nsimbe, The Observer – How Philly Lutaaya became the Grinch that stole his children’ Christmas
    Joseph Sabiti, NBS Television – Arts and politics
  3. BUSINESS, FINANCE & ECONOMY
    George Katongole, Daily Monitor – A fish business born out of lockdown blues
    Lydia Nabakooza, Sswaliki Ssali & Hassan Wasswa, NBS Television – The Kenya-Uganda trade war
    Patricia Akankwatsa, The Independent – Coronavirus catastrophe
    Paul Murungi, Daily Monitor –  What can Uganda do with her milk surplus?
    Robert Atuhairwe, New Vision – Oil industry: FID delay hits local companies hard
  4. DATA JOURNALISM
    Blanshe Musinguzi & Stanley Ebele, Uganda Radio Network – Between indecisiveness and thumbprint lies
    Jonan Tusingwire & Felix Basiime, InfoNile – Karangura: Caught between the dual danger of Covid-19 and a water crisis
    Martin Luther Oketch, Daily Monitor – How Covid-19 has hit financial markets
    Nobert Atukunda, Daily Monitor – Covid data contradicts EC campaign freeze claims
  5. EDUCATION
    Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – Okusoma mu muggalo
    Damali Muhakye, Daily Monitor – Makerere University gowns crisis
    Sam Ogwal Alero, Voice of Lango – Covid-19 edutele learning
    Isaac Khisa, The Independent – Covid-19 complicates education
  6. ENERGY & EXTRACTIVES
    Dennis Sigoa, UBC Television – Mwelo Rock land acquisition saga
    Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Concerns raised over the crude oil pipeline
    Lydia Nabakooza, Sswaliki Ssali & Hassan Wasswa, NBS Television – The rich but poor Kilembe mines
    Samuel Sanya, New Vision – Mbkumbku to give way for Nyagak III works
  7. ENVIRONMENT
    Franklin Ezaruku Draku, Daily Monitor – Lake Victoria pollution series
    Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Save Bugoma Forest series
    Henry Okurut, UBC Television – Homeless creatures: UWA stuck with 1000 wild birds at Parliament
    Mark Arnold Wadulo, UBC Television – Human-wildlife conflict resolution in national tourism parks
  8. EXPLANATORY REPORTING
    Canary Mugume, NBS Television – Ivory Tower in flames – What happened that day?
    Dennis Sigoa, UBC Television – Uganda’s iconic buildings, sites and monuments under threat
    Nobert Atukunda & Isaac Mufumba, Daily Monitor – Money spent in the name of coronavirus
    Robert Atuhairwe, New Vision – Chimp attacks worry Hoima residents
  9. FEATURES
    Christopher Oola, Mega FM – Fate of children born in LRA captivity
    Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – Underrepresentation? What has changed about disability and politics
    Irene Abalo Otto, Daily Monitor – Scars of the LRA war series
    Kalungi Kabuye, New Vision – Covid-19 lockdown – Will the slay generation survive?
  10. HEALTH
    Agnes Kyotalengerire & Ritah Mukasa, New Vision – Blood shortage
    Benard Yiga, UBC Television – Safe births amidst Covid-19: Celebrating midwives saving lives of mothers and babies
    Betty Amamukirori & Violet Nabatanzi, New Vision – Mulago doctors explain first successful Siamese operation
    Daniel Lutaaya & Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – 15 days with Covid
    David Mafabi, PML Daily – Postpartum hemorrhage, leading cause of maternal mortality
    Michael Wambi, Uganda Radio Network – Preeclampsia: The silent but dangerous women and neonatal killer in Uganda
  11. INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
    Daniel Lutaaya & Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – The Milkshake: Inside a gang of extortionists
    Halima Abdallah Kisule, Daily Monitor – Inside Uganda’s complex gold trade
    Irene Abalo Otto, Daily Monitor – Alleged sexual abuse of deaf girls puts officials on spot
    Solomon Serwanjja & Joshua Mujjunga, NBS Television – The ayes have it
  12. JUSTICE, LAW & ORDER
    Carol Kasujja, Joseph Makumbi & Michael Odeng, New Vision – City pastor cited in baby swap (serial)
    Jamila Mulindwa, NBS Television – Obuliisa maanyi e Rukungiri
    Lillian Namusoke Magezi, New Vision – How Covid-19 affected women in Uganda
    Sabir Musa, Radio Pacis – Jennifer seeking justice months after beating by security guard (series)
  13. LOCAL REPORTING
    Eddy Olwa, NBS Television – Lira-Kamdini Road a nightmare
    Herbert Kamoga, NTV Uganda – Domestic violence: Nakaseke mother of 7 sleeping in the cold with her children
    John Dibaba, Radio Pacis – How the Nurse of the Year 2020 rose to the limelight
    John Okot & Jesse Muto, NUMEC – Gulu’s eco-entrepreneurs melt plastic waste into low-cost coronavirus face shields
    Sabir Musa, Radio Pacis – The impact of rock blasting activity by Dott Services Limited on the community in Oluko sub-county
  14. NATIONAL NEWS – BROADCAST
    Benjamin Jumbe, KFM – Defilement report (series)
    Culton Scovia Nakamya, BBS Terefayina – Porous borders: Can Uganda survive the Covid-19 pandemic?
    Godfrey Badebye & Daniel Lutaaya, NBS Television – The hands that fed us
    Samuel Ssenono, UBC Television – Detecting Uganda’s first Covid-19 case
  15. NATIONAL NEWS – PRINT
    Carol Kasujja & Umar Nsubuga, New Vision – MAK fire: Why police should not burn alone
    Franklin Ezaruku Draku, Daily Monitor – Covid-19 promises: What went wrong with implementation
    Gerald Tenywa, New Vision – Lake Victoria under threat as key city drainage wetland is invaded
    Ian Katusiime, The Independent – Museveni action on army shootings
  16. NEWS ILLUSTRATION
    Walter Mwesigye, NTV Uganda – River Nyamwamba bursts banks, forces Kilembe Hospital evacuation
  17. PHOTO & VIDEO JOURNALISM
    Abubaker Lubowa, Daily Monitor –  Drawing the lines
    Nicholas Bamulanzeki, The Observer – Ugly side of the Pearl of Africa
    Collins Rukundo, Songa Stone Mwesigwa & Victor Opira, Storyteld – We flew a drone over a locked down Kampala in the middle of the day and this is what we saw
    Stuart Yiga, Bukedde – On the campaign trail with Patrick Oboi Amuriat
  18. POLITICS
    Benard Yiga, UBC Television – The impact of Kyagulanyi and the People Power wave on Uganda’s politics
    Christopher Oola, Mega FM – Voter bribery in Acholi sub-region
    Paul Kayonga, NBS Television – Gang of 7
    Paul Kayonga & Godfrey Badebye, NBS Television – The NUP dilemma
  19. PUBLIC WORKS & INFRASTRUCTURE
    Canary Mugume, NBS Television – Uganda’s infrastructure crisis
    Samuel Sanya & Shamim Saad, New Vision – Kampala flyover construction: Project expanded, to take longer
    Simon Ssemazzi, Urban TV – Uganda gets first Airbus
  20. SPORTS
    Baker Lwesabula, BBS Terefayina – Omuzibe azannya ebikonde
    Javier Silas Omagor, Step FM – Mbale’s rotting cricket talent
    Olivia Nakate, Urban TV – Female athletes and menstruation: The unspoken battle among female athletes
    Solomon Ssaka, NBS Television –  Wonder kid

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