ACME ED Dr. Peter G. Mwesige

Ugandan journalists who submitted their work for the 2018 Uganda National Journalism Awards (UNJA) will have to wait a little bit longer to be recognised, following an announcement of the delay by organisers, the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME).

ACME says it doesn’t have ready funds to organise the annual gala as early planned and says it regrets the delay.

“The delay has been caused by funding challenges following the expiry in December 2017 of the framework under which the awards process was previously funded,”  Dr Peter G. Mwesige, ACME’s Executive Director, was quoted as saying.

“ACME is in the process of securing long-term funding for the Uganda National Journalism Awards, he said, adding that they have already secured commitment from a couple of major partners and that a date for the UNJA 2018 gala will be announced in due course.

“We would like to assure the journalists who submitted entries of their best work in 2017 or those that nominated them that they will be recognised and rewarded by 30 September 2018,” Mwesige said.

UNJA 2018 attracted entries from 239 journalists, a 28 per cent 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 powerful to account.

Launched five years ago, the awards represent a pinnacle of achievement for Ugandan journalists, many of whom 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,” said Dr Monica Chibita, the Chair of ACME’s Board of Directors.