African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) has cleared the air on the postponement of the Uganda National Journalism Awards (UJNA) for 2018 to Sept 30.
In a press release issued, the executive director of ACME Dr Peter Mwesige said, “The delay has been caused by funding challenges following the expiry on funds in December 2017 of the framework under which the awards process was previously funded.”
He also explained that ACME is working towards securing long-term funding for the Uganda National Journalism Awards.
“We have already secured commitment from a couple of major partners. We would like to assure the journalists who submitted entries of their best work in 2017 and those that nominated them that they will be recognised and rewarded by 30 September,” Mwesige said.
According to the press statement, UNJA 2018 attracted entries from 239 journalists, a 28% increase from the previous year.
The Uganda National Journalism Awards are presented annually to recognise and promote reporting that informs and empowers the public, increases the voices and spaces for debate and holds the powerl to account.
Launched five years ago, the awards represent a pinnacle of achievement for Ugandan journalists, many of who work tirelessly to attain journalistic excellence, often in the face of enormous financial and political pressure.
The last two editions of the awards were organised with support from the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF).
Award winners are selected by a panel of judges that comprises eminent Ugandans who have excelled in the field of journalism, media, communications, and other areas of public affairs.
“ACME continues to work on a strategy that will ensure sustainable funding for this important project,”Dr Monica Chibita, the chairperson of ACME’s board of directors said.
ACME is a Kampala-based non-profit media support organisation committed to helping African journalists who seek and achieve professional excellence.
The organisation fulfills its mandate through refresher training for mid-career journalists; media literacy training for civil society organisations, corporate companies and others; media monitoring and research; excellence awards; free expression advocacy; and the maintenance of an active website and online platforms that provide resources for journalists and the public.