UMTAC School of Journalism and Makerere Business Institute have won the recently concluded Inter-Institutional Media Challenge. UMTAC emerged winners as the best Luganda News Team with Francis Kitaka as the best Luganda News Anchor. MBI was awarded for being the best English News Team with Walter Mwesigye as the best English News Anchor. These best News Anchors were awarded with a great opportunity to work with NTV for a year. Makerere’s own, Wilson Kasamba, a student of Journalism and Communication scooped the best Environment Reporter award. Leah Kahunde, also a Journalism and communication student the first runner-up in the News Anchoring category.
The second season of this annual event took place on Saturday, November, 22nd at Statistics House. Several institutions like Makerere University, Cavendish University, Ndejje University, St. Lawrence University, UMCAT School of Journalism, Makerere Business Institute, Nkumba University and Multitech Business School participated in this Media Challenge. The students competed against each other in different categories of News Anchoring, Interviewing, Photography, Feature story writing and News Reporting. Under News Reporting, the students’ ability to report Environment, Politics, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Technology, Business and Foreign News was tested. They were judged by prominent journalists among them Bbale Francis, Linda Kibombo, Samuel Ssetumba and Frank Walusimbi.
Simon Mayende, from the Ministry of Information and National Guidance, who was the Guest of Honor, commended the organizers and said that there was a need to develop a new cadre of skilled journalists. “There is need for new innovations, a shift in attitude, 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.
Speaking at the Media Challenge, Special Senior Presidential Advisor on Media, John Nagenda, strongly 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 expressed his discontent with the people who have failed to find jobs in the Media Industry and have since then been taken up by ill-will. During the same event, Nagenda received a Lifetime Achievement award from Global Media Enterprise.
Commenting on the event, Michael Ojula, a student from UMCAT School of Journalism said that the event was important in shaping the students’ careers. “It shapes and trains you to know what you will do in future in terms of being a professional journalist and knowing the art of public speaking,” he said.
This Inter-Institutional Media Challenge was introduced in 2012 and Mr. Mpindi Abbas, a diploma holder from UMCAT School of Journalism is the brain behind it. This young CEO came up with the idea saying that it was too hard for young journalists to break into the Media industry and so showcasing their skills on stage would be the best way through which these students could be identified by Media Houses. The event was organized by Global Media Enterprise under the theme “Prove You Are A Journalist”. It was sponsored by NTV, Jude Color Solutions, Ministry of Information and National Guidance, Uganda Bureau of Statistics and Brave Forex Bureau.