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THE UGANDAN MEDIA
Request for Proposals
20 June 2014
African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) recently started the implementation of a 28-month
project whose goal is to enhance media oversight of governance through increasing the quantity
and quality of in-depth public affairs reporting and investigative journalism that informs and
engages the public and ultimately increases transparency and accountability in Uganda.
The project, “Enhanced Media Reporting for Transparency and Accountability” (EMERTA),
which has been set up with support from the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), involves a
grant facility and fellowship programme that will support Ugandan journalists seeking to do in-
depth public affairs reporting with both grants as well as training and mentoring opportunities.
Two other components of the project are: “Data journalism and evidence-based reporting” and
“Expanding spaces to enhance knowledge and promote professional fellowship among
ACME will offer direct grants to story projects that cover any of the 12 thematic areas listed
below while the fellowship programme will support journalists interested in covering the first
three of them.
1. Local government
2. Parliamentary oversight
3. Oil, gas and mining
5. Land and property rights
6. Water and environment
8. Justice, law and order
9. Transport infrastructure and public works
11. Science and technology
2. Purpose of the Research
ACME plans to commission a baseline research study that explores media coverage of public
affairs, paying particular attention to local governance, parliament and the extractive sectors,
but also looking at the other priority areas listed above. This study, which will be replicated in
2015 and 2016, will look closely at quality and quantity of coverage.
Some of the research questions that will be addressed include the following:
i. What information about public affairs is communicated to the public and how, if any,
has it changed over time?
ii. What key themes have emerged from the national conversation on public affairs
facilitated by the media?
iii. How, if at all, do media outlets handle data?
iv. Who are the key voices and agenda-setters represented in the media coverage of public
v. What is the focus of the information communicated to the public?
vi. How is the information framed?
vii. What is the quality of the media coverage of public affairs and how has it changed over
The results of the research study will not only be useful in providing baseline indicators, they
will also inform the training programme and civil society advocacy.
It is expected that the research will use mainly content analysis, but will also employ key
informant interviews, among other methods, to place the results in context.
4. Scope of the Assignment
The primary responsibility of the Principal Researcher is to lead the development and
implementation of a comprehensive and robust research project that will generate baseline data
and information on media coverage of public affairs coverage in Uganda since 2013. The focus
of the research will be the priority areas identified above and it will examine critical variables
related to the quality and quantity of coverage. The Principal Researcher shall report to the
Executive Director of ACME.
5. Terms of Reference
Specifically, the Principal Researcher shall:
1. Prepare a research concept note that clearly articulates the research idea, the
background, research problem, purpose and objectives, rationale, relevant literature,
theoretical or conceptual framework, research questions or hypotheses, as well as the
methodology to be applied. The concept note must, in particular, contain:
i. Clear conceptual and operational definitions.
ii. Articulate a set of clear, concise, and concrete research questions to address
the project’s overall goal and research objectives.
iii. Define and describe the measures to be used to assess the quality and
quantity of public affairs coverage, and formulate clear operationalizations of
the selected measures.
iv. Lay out robust and rigorous data collection techniques and instruments that
will ensure high levels of validity and reliability of results.
2. Prepare a research work plan that will be followed from the start to the end of the
process, indicating definite milestones and associated deliverables/outputs, and
outlining the assignment of roles, responsibilities, and tasks.
3. Prepare a budget for the execution of the assignment.
4. Recruit and train a team of research assistants who will be assigned various tasks to
support the smooth and expeditious roll out of the project.
5. Conduct the research according to the approved work plan.
6. Analyze the evidence and report the results in a language and form that will contribute
to and illuminate media policy, reform, and editorial debates in newsrooms and in the
6. Expertise Required
The desired Principal Researcher must possess professional experience of working in the mass
media sector as well as academic qualifications in journalism and mass communication.
In addition the Principal Researcher should possess some or all the following:
A graduate degree in journalism, mass communication or media-related field.
Notable experience in conducting media research.
A deep understanding of the Ugandan media sector and sociopolitical context.
7. Application Procedure
Interested candidates should submit the following by 7
i. A cover letter
ii. Technical proposal
iii. Financial proposal
iv. A detailed resume/CV
These documents should be submitted in electronic form to firstname.lastname@example.org and
For clarifications, call +256 0772-313067.