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Each successful story project, selected on a competitive basis, may be funded with up to Shs1.75million.
ACME will periodically publish calls for journalists, backed by their newsrooms, to submit story projects for funding under either direct reporting grants or financial support as part of a six-month training fellowship.
The opportunity to receive this support will be available to journalists until June 2016.
“The grant facility and fellowship programme will support Ugandan journalists to produce accurate and compelling in-depth and investigative journalism that informs and engages the public,” said ACME Executive Director Peter Mwesige.
The grant facility and fellowship programme form one of three parts of a partnership between DGF and ACME titled “Enhanced Media Reporting for Transparency &Accountability (EMERTA).”
The other two components of the partnership are: “Data journalism and evidence-based reporting” and “Expanding spaces to enhance knowledge and promote professional fellowship among journalists.”
These components encompass non-monetary support to the Uganda journalism community and activities include data journalism training, establishment of an online resource centre, assembling of public databases that journalists can use for story projects, hosting of informal dialogues between journalists and public decision makers, monthly film screenings, as well as convening of an annual lecture series on media and politics in Africa.
Speaking on the logic behind this ambitious media development project, Dr Mwesige said the three components are linked by their focus on improving the flow of, and access to information on service delivery and public affairs.
He said the goal of the project is to enhance media oversight of governance through increasing the quantity and quality of in-depth public affairs reporting and investigative journalism that better informs and engages the public and ultimately increases transparency and accountability in Uganda.
ACME is a Kampala-based independent, non-profit professional organisation committed to helping African journalists seek and achieve professional excellence, and improving journalism and mass communication in Africa.
The organisation fulfils its mandate through refresher training for mid-career journalists; media literacy training for civil society organisations and corporate companies; media research; free expression advocacy; and media monitoring.
Established by Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Union, the Democratic Governance Facility supports state and non-state partners to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda.
Direct grants will go to story projects that cover any of the 12 thematic areas listed below while the fellowship programme will support journalists interested in covering Local government, Parliamentary oversight, Oil, gas and mining, agriculture, land and property rights, water and environment.
Others include energy, justice, law and order, transport infrastructure and public works, health and Science and technology among others.