BY ALEX TAREMWA
The Department of Mass Communication continues to prove why journalism is one of the most sought after professions, through distinguished practice and global excellence of its alumni and staff.
In the recently concluded African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) Uganda National Journalism Awards 2016, Uganda Christian University (UCU) staff and alumni won awards in several categories.
The awards, which serve as a cornerstone of achievement for Ugandan journalists by showcasing their outstanding work, were hosted at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala on Wednesday April 20.
The winners included NTV Uganda’s Frank Walusimbi, an alumnus who won the Arts and Culture Award for his Songs of Resistance, an insightful report on arts as a tool for political mobilisation.
John Semakula, an alumnus and part-time staff, got the Data Journalism Award, along with his teammates at the New Vision ; and also got the National News Reporting (print category) award.
Stephen Senkaaba, won the Justice, Law and Order while Billy Rwothungeyo won Business, Economics and Finance Reporting.
Daily Monitor ’s Johnson Mayamba, former news editor of The Standard , was also awarded by the Human Rights Network for Journalists for his “outstanding” reporting of media rights in Uganda. He was awarded on the World Press Freedom Day on May 3.
Dr Monica Chibita, the head of the Mass Communication department, who attended the ACME awards gala and presided over the hand-over ceremony, could not hide her pride.
In an email to The Standard Chibita thanked the department’s staff for their commitment to journalism training, which she said had led to excellence and the subsequent success. Several other UCU alumni came close to taking home several awards. These were included Ian Katusiime of The Independent , who was the runner-up in both the business, economics and finance reporting, and investigative reporting categories. Power FM’s Joan Akello came second in the energy, oil, gas and mining reporting category.
The Uganda National Journalism Awards are held annually to reward those journalists who work tirelessly, often in the face of great difficulty, political pressure and financial constraints.
The 2016 UNJA awards were the third edition, intended to inspire young journalists to embrace enterprise and investigative journalism, increase the quantity and quality of public affairs reporting, promote accurate, knowledgeable, enterprise and investigative reporting in all media, advance innovation in storytelling and news presentation and increase the diversity of voices in media coverage.