First published in Observer
By Euronie Komukama
The Uganda Media Consultants and Trainers (UMCAT) School of Journalism and Makerere Business Institute (MBI) have won the recently-held Inter-Institutional Media Challenge.
UMCAT emerged winners as the best Luganda News Team with Francis Kitaka as the best Luganda News Anchor. MBI was awarded for having the best English News Team with Walter Mwesigye as the best English News Anchor. Kitaka and Mwesigye will get the opportunity to work with NTV for one year. The second season of this annual event took place last week at Statistics House.
Several institutions such as Makerere, Cavendish, Ndejje, St Lawrence and Nkumba universities, UMCAT, MBI and Multitech Business School participated in this year’s challenge.
Students competed in different categories, including news anchoring, interviewing, photography, feature story writing and news reporting. Under news reporting, the students’ ability to report on environment, politics, sports, entertainment, health, technology, business and foreign news was put to the test.
They were judged by prominent journalists, among them Francis Bbale, Linda Kibombo, Samuel Ssetumba and Frank Walusimbi. The guest of honour, Simon Mayende, a director at the ministry of Information and National Guidance, commended the organizers and said there was need to develop a new cadre of skilled journalists.
“There is need for new innovations, a shift in attitude, and developing new mindsets among journalists who will address global issues,” he said. He pointed out how difficult it was for young people to find jobs and that it was important for main stakeholders like the government to support such initiatives.
Senior Presidential Advisor on Media and Public Relations, John Nagenda, urged the future journalists not to be afraid to use the media as a tool of expressing their ideas.
“Talk through the media, have a keen mind and be somebody who can say what you think,” he said. Nagenda received the Lifetime Achievement award.
Commenting on the event, Michael Ojula, a student at UMCAT, said the event was important in shaping students’ careers.
“It shapes and trains you to know what you will do in future in terms of being a professional journalist,” he said.
The Inter-institutional Media Challenge was introduced in 2012 by Abbas Mpindi, a graduate of UMCAT. This young CEO argued that it was very hard for young journalists to break into the media industry and showcasing their skills would be the best way through which they would be identified.
The event was organized by Global Media Enterprise and sponsored by NTV, Jude Colour Solutions, ministry of Information and National Guidance, Uganda Bureau of Statistics and Brave Forex Bureau.